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Video job interviews and privacy

February 13, 2020

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Privacy Alerts are intended to offer lessons learned, best practices and other important privacy news, trends and information related to privacy protection in the federal public sector. We encourage you to share this information with colleagues.


When federal institutions conduct videoconference interviews for staffing processes, they generally do so in real-time and do not record them. Evaluators assess candidates on paper, just as is done in an in-person interview.

Some software platforms now offer the option of a pre-recorded video interview as an alternative to live video interviews. Hiring organizations provide the contact information for the prospective candidates and input the interview questions into the platform. Candidates are then invited to record their answers using a webcam or mobile phone. Evaluators at the hiring organization later watch the video-recorded interviews and assess candidates directly in the platform.

These platforms can help to overcome hiring process challenges such as the scheduling availability and geographic location of candidates. However, their use raises certain risks to privacy that federal institutions must consider before contracting out their staffing processes.

Advice for institutions:

  • Using these platforms to conduct pre-recorded video interviews changes how a federal institution conducts its staffing processes. Video recording interviews means a new collection of sensitive personal information, and involves outsourcing to a third party.
  • Treasury Board Secretariat’s Directive on Privacy Impact Assessment requires that federal institutions conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) when making such modifications to a program or initiative.
  • Institutions need to ensure that all personal information that has been used, is being used, or is available for use for an administrative purpose is included in a Personal Information Bank (PIB) as outlined in the Privacy Act. The standard PIB for government staffing does not currently reflect the collection of video recordings.
  • Before outsourcing any of your staffing processes to a video interview platform, consult with your ATIP team to ensure you have sufficiently assessed and mitigated privacy risks.

For more information, contact the OPC’s Government Advisory Directorate at and check out the following resources:

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