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Social insurance numbers

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a confidential number that is restricted to income reporting purposes. It is a key piece of information about an individual that, if it falls into the wrong hands, can lead to identity theft.

Certain government departments and programs are authorized to collect and use the SIN and some private-sector organizations are required by law to request it; however, the SIN should not be used as a general identifier.

On this page, you will find advice for individuals and guidance for organizations about the rules that exist to protect the SIN.

Protecting your Social Insurance Number

Find out who is authorized to ask for your SIN, and what you can do if others request that you provide the number.

Best Practices for the use of Social Insurance Numbers in the private sector

Find information for businesses about how PIPEDA applies to the collection, use and disclosure the SIN.

Investigations of businesses related to social insurance numbers

Access links to investigations of businesses conducted by OPC into issues related to SIN.

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