Identity and privacy

An individual's identity can be defined as the sum of all the characteristics that make up who an individual is, such as their name, birthday, where they live or other information. These characteristics are called identity attributes. An identity attribute can also be an identifier. For example, an individual may be referred to by their name or by a number that is assigned to them, such as a Social Insurance Number (SIN) or a driver’s licence number.

Individuals use this information daily for social interactions, financial transactions, applications for services, etc. Organizations also use this information for identifying and interacting with their clients or customers, and assuring themselves that they are providing access or services to the right person. These identity attributes and identifiers can reveal a lot about an individual and, when misused or mishandled, the consequences can be significant.

From this page individuals and businesses can access information, advice and guidance related to the protection and use of identity documents, identification and authentication processes, and identity theft.

Driver's licences

Find advice for individuals and guidance for organizations about protecting personal information on driver’s licences.

Social insurance numbers

Find advice for individuals and guidance for organizations about the use and protection of SINs.

Identity theft

Information and advice to help individuals guard against identity theft and report if it occurs.

Identification and authentication

Access guidance for businesses about how to identify and authenticate of customers in a way that complies with PIPEDA.

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