Organizational Structure

The Privacy Act Investigations Branch

The Privacy Act (PA) Investigations Branch receives and investigates complaints under the Privacy Act from individuals who believe they have not been given access to their personal information held by government institutions, or feel that their information has been inappropriately, collected, used, disclosed or managed. The Branch also investigates complaints that are initiated by the Commissioner, and receives notifications of breaches from federal government organizations. The Branch is headed by Ms. Sue Lajoie, the Director General, PA Investigations.

The PIPEDA Investigations Branch

The PIPEDA Investigations Branch investigates complaints under the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).

The Branch is based in Gatineau, Quebec and has a regional office in Toronto, Ontario.

The Branch receives and investigates all complaints filed by individuals or initiated by the Commissioner. The Branch is headed by Mr. Brent Homan, Director General, PIPEDA.

The OPC Toronto Office was established in 2010 to create a more robust regional presence for the OPC in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and its surroundings. The Toronto Office focuses its efforts primarily on investigating complaints filed under PIPEDA, as well as conducting public education and stakeholder outreach activities in order to enhance awareness of privacy rights and obligations and to improve compliance of private sector organizations subject to PIPEDA. The Toronto Office is headed by Abubakar Khan, Director, Toronto Regional Operations, who reports to Mr. Homan.

Audit and Review Branch

The Audit and Review Branch audits organizations to assess their compliance with the requirements set out in the two federal privacy laws. The Branch also analyses and provides recommendations on privacy impact assessment reports (PIAs) submitted to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) pursuant to the Treasury Board Secretariat Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment. It also receives and reviews public interest disclosures made by federal government organizations. The Branch is headed by Ms. Lara Ives, Acting Director General.

Communications Branch

The Communications Branch focuses on providing strategic advice and support for communications and public education activities for the OPC. In addition, the Branch plans and implements a variety of public education and communications activities through media monitoring and analysis, public opinion polling, media relations, publications, special events, outreach activities and the OPC web sites. The Branch is also responsible for the OPC’s Information Centre, which responds to requests for information from the public and organizations regarding privacy rights and responsibilities. The Branch is headed by Ms. Anne-Marie Hayden, Director General.

Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis Branch

The Legal Services, Policy, Research and Technology Analysis Branch provides strategic legal and policy advice and conducts research on emerging privacy issues.  The Legal Services Division provides legal advice to PIPEDA and Privacy Act Investigations, Audit and Review, and other operational branches across the OPC.  It represents the OPC in litigation matters before the courts and in negotiations with other parties. The Policy and Research Division develops strategic policy positions on legislative bills, government programs and initiatives; supports the Commissioner’s appearances before Parliament; develops policy guidance for public and private sector initiatives; and conducts applied research on emerging privacy issues. This Division also manages the OPC Contributions Program which funds external researchers to advance and apply new knowledge about data protection in the private sector. The Technology Analysis Division identifies and analyzes technological trends and developments in electronic platforms and digital media; conducts research to assess the impact of technology on the protection of personal information in the digital world and provides strategic analysis and guidance on complex, varied and sensitive technological issues involving breaches in the security of government and commercial systems that store personal information. The Branch is headed by Ms. Patricia Kosseim, Senior General Counsel and Director General.

Corporate Services Branch

The Corporate Services Branch provides advice and integrated administrative services such as corporate planning, resource management, financial management, information management/technology, human resouces management and general administration to managers and staff. The Branch is headed by Mr. Daniel Nadeau, Director General and Chief Financial Officer.

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