Find the right organization to contact about your privacy issue

If you have a privacy concern, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is here to help. However, not all privacy issues fall under the laws we oversee—the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In fact, there are a number of laws in Canada that relate to privacy rights, and there are various government organizations and agencies responsible for overseeing compliance with these laws. See our Overview of Privacy Legislation in Canada web page for more information.

If you have a privacy issue you have been unable to resolve with an organization, and you are not sure where to go for assistance, try using the simple tool on this page to help you determine where to start.

Step 1:

Choose the type of personal information that you are concerned about from the three options below.

Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Some examples of personal information may include age, ID numbers, ethnic origin, blood type, and financial or medical records.

Personal health
information

Step 2:

Choose the type of organization that your privacy concern relates to.

Federal government institution
Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial, territorial or municipal government institution
Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated organization operating in Canada, engaged in commercial activity
Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, engaged in commercial activity
Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.*

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

*The provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador have substantially similar legislation with respect to health information custodians that may apply instead of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization that has collected your personal information.

Health care professionals
Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes
Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity
Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Personal employee
information

Step 2:

Choose the type of organization that your privacy concern relates to.

Federal government institution
Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial, territorial or municipal government institution
Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated organization operating in Canada
Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, engaged in commercial activity
Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Health care professionals
Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes
Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies. (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity
Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Other types of personal information
about you

Step 2:

Choose the type of organization that your privacy concern relates to.

Federal government institution
Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial, territorial or municipal government institution
Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated organization operating in Canada, engaged in commercial activity
Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, engaged in commercial activity
Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.*

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

*The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Québec have substantially similar legislation that may apply instead of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies if the information is collected, used and disclosed entirely within that province.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Health care professionals
Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes
Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity
Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

 

Text version

If you have a privacy concern, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) is here to help. However, not all privacy issues fall under the laws we oversee—the Privacy Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In fact, there are a number of laws in Canada that relate to privacy rights, and there are various government organizations and agencies responsible for overseeing compliance with these laws. See our Overview of Privacy Legislation in Canada web page for more information.

If you have a privacy issue you have been unable to resolve with an organization, and you are not sure where to go for assistance, try using the simple tool on this page to help you determine where to start.

Determining What Organization Is Best Suited to Help

If you have a privacy issue and aren't sure where to go for assistance, here is a simple two-step process that may help you determine where to start.

Step 1: Choose the type of personal information that you are concerned about.

Note: Personal information is information about an identifiable individual. Some examples of personal information may include age, ID numbers, ethnic origin, blood type, and financial or medical records.

Step 2: Choose the type of organization that your privacy concern relates to.

Type of personal information: Personal health information
Type of organization Applicable privacy legislation and suggested contact

Federal government institution

Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions.

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial or municipal government institution

Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital.

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated business operating in Canada, engaged in commercial activity

Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.*

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

*The provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador have substantially similar legislation with respect to health information custodians that may apply instead of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization that has collected your personal information.

Health care professionals

Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes

Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs, advocacy organizations.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Type of personal information: Personal employee information
Type of organization Applicable privacy legislation and suggested contact

Federal government institution

Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions.

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial or municipal government institution

Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital.

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated business operating in Canada, engaged in commercial activity

Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Health care professionals

Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes

Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs, advocacy organizations.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Type of personal information: Other types of personal information about you
Type of organization Applicable privacy legislation and suggested contact

Federal government institution

Federal departments, agencies, etc. listed in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions.

The Privacy Act applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Provincial or municipal government institution

Examples: local transit authority, recreation complex, library, public school, hospital.

Provincial and territorial laws for public sector will apply.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Federally-regulated business operating in Canada, engaged in commercial activity

Examples: bank, airline, telephone or broadcasting company.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Private sector organization, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: retail store, service, hotel, restaurant, insurance, entertainment.

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) applies.*

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

*The provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Québec have substantially similar legislation that may apply instead of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) if the information is collected, used and disclosed entirely within that province.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization that has collected your personal information.

Health care professionals

Examples: doctors, dentists, physiotherapists, psychologists.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, begin by contacting the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Individuals who collect, use or disclose personal information for non-commercial purposes

Examples: web sites, blogs, home security cameras

In general, the conduct of individuals who are not collecting, using or disclosing personal information for commercial purposes is not covered under Canadian privacy laws.

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Federal political party, member of parliament, member of parliament staff

These types of organizations/individuals are not included in the Privacy Act Schedule of Government Institutions and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) generally does not apply unless the organization is conducting a commercial activity (fundraising is not a commercial activity).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

Not-for-profits and charities, not engaged in commercial activity

Examples: sports associations, professional associations, clubs, advocacy organizations.

There may be provincial or territorial privacy legislation that applies.

For more information, contact the provincial or territorial oversight office based on the location of the organization.

Organizations carrying on business primarily outside of Canada

The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) may apply (determined on a case-by-case basis).

For more information, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

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