February 23, 2021
Commissioner submits views to Access to Information Act review
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has sent a submission to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat in relation to a statutory review of the Access to Information Act (ATIA).
The review of the ATIA presents an opportunity to examine issues that lie at the intersection of both the ATIA and the Privacy Act.
“The ATIA and the Privacy Act both play a central role in preserving our information rights as our society becomes increasingly digital. Both laws are essential to fostering a more open, transparent government and upholding the tenets of democracy,” the submission notes.
“Open government and increased transparency remain critical areas for government reform and Canadians certainly deserve both an open government and respect for their privacy rights.”
The submission identifies key areas where it will be important to review both Acts at same time, such as on common exemption and exclusion provisions, the definition of personal information, interpretations of publicly available and rationales for public interest exceptions. In November, the federal government also announced a public consultation on modernization of the Privacy Act.
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