Your privacy rights
In Canada, the right to privacy is rooted in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Charter does not specifically mention privacy or the protection of personal information. However, it does afford protection under Section 7 (the right to life, liberty and the security of the person), and Section 8 (the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure).
There are also a number of laws that protect your privacy rights by setting out rules for the way your personal information is handled by both governments and organizations. For example, in general, your personal information can only be collected, used and disclosed with your knowledge—and often your consent—for legitimate purposes. It must also be stored, shared and disposed of in a way that keeps it secure and confidential.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is responsible for overseeing two federal privacy laws:
- the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which applies to many private-sector businesses operating in Canada; and
- the Privacy Act, which applies to federal government departments and agencies.
Explore the links on this page to learn more about your privacy rights under the two federal privacy laws protect them.
Learn about your privacy rights when you interact with businesses subject to the federal private sector privacy law.
Learn about your privacy rights with federal government institutions.
Helpful tips for challenging an organization about how it is handling your personal information.
Find advice to help individuals better protect their personal information.
Tips for individuals on reading and better understanding privacy policies.
Try our privacy quiz to find out how well you know your privacy rights.
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