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OPC launches Privacy Commissioner Alerts for federal public sector

September 26, 2018

Welcome to Privacy Commissioner Alerts – a new initiative from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada aimed at helping federal government institutions improve their personal information handling practices.

We know there are many lessons to be learned from our investigations, privacy breaches reported to our office, our reviews of Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and our advisory work with government institutions. Confidentiality provisions in the Privacy Act make it challenging to share many of these lessons with the wider federal public service in a timely, efficient way.

Privacy Commissioner Alerts will help us to share important privacy news, trends, best practices and key takeaways from our work as issues arise, while maintaining our confidentiality obligations.

Starting tomorrow, Privacy Commissioner Alerts will be sent via email to ATIP coordinators, who are encouraged to share the alerts with relevant players within their respective organizations. (e.g. human resources and IT specialists, managers, those responsible for programs that use personal information, investigators and communications people.) We’ve also set up an RSS feed so that public servants as well as interested parties outside of government can stay informed.

We know Canadians care about their privacy. We also know they have little choice but to entrust the federal government with some of their most sensitive personal information, whether applying for employment insurance, filing income taxes or filling in census forms. As such, robust personal information management practices are essential to maintaining public confidence in Canada’s democratic institutions.

We hope Privacy Commissioner Alerts will help us all to become better stewards of Canadians’ personal information.

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