Fact Sheets

Privacy Act

The Privacy Act gives you the right to see and correct personal information the Government of Canada holds about you. It imposes obligations on more than 150 federal government agencies to respect your privacy rights.

The Act places limits on the collection, use and disclosure of your personal information in the course of providing services such as old age pensions and employment insurance.

To access personal information held by federal government

To gain access to your personal information, you will need to:

  • Determine which federal agency currently holds your personal information; you can do this by consulting Info Source, the public directory of federal government agencies.
  • Fill out a Personal Information Request Form. These are available at the same locations as Info Source.
  • Identify yourself so that the government can be sure it is you, and not someone else, asking for your personal information.
  • Specify the personal information you are seeking. The more precise your request, the faster it can be answered.
  • Send your form to the Privacy Coordinator of the agency you think currently has your information.

For more information on the Privacy Act, you can find explanatory brochures and application forms at public libraries and at Service Canada information centres across Canada. You can also contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada toll-free at 1-888-242-2100.

There is no charge to apply for information under the Privacy Act.

To file a complaint

If you have run into a problem with your application, or think that your personal information is being improperly collected, used or disclosed by the federal government, contact the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada during business hours by calling 1-800-282-1376 toll-free, or go to our website for more information about how to file a complaint under the Privacy Act.

Please do not make complaints or provide personal information by e-mail, as security cannot be ensured.