At the federal government level, your privacy rights are protected by two separate laws:
The Privacy Act :applies to federal government institutions, and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), which also applies to many private-sector organizations.
Under these laws, individuals have the right to complain to the Privacy Commissioner of Canada if they feel their personal information has been mishandled.
(federal government institutions) The Privacy Act sets out the rules for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by federal government institutions. It also gives individuals the right to see the information the government holds about them, and to request any corrections.
(private-sector organizations) The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) sets out the rules that private-sector organizations must follow when they handle personal information in the course of their commercial activities. For federally regulated businesses, PIPEDA also applies to the personal information of employees.
Read the Guide here : A Guide for Individuals – Your Guide to PIPEDA
How To File A Complaint (PIPEDA)
Before filing your complaint read the Guide to the Complaint Process. It has useful information on what matters can be subject to a PIPEDA complaint and what you can expect to happen. The Privacy Commissioners office suggests to try first to resolve your concerns directly with the organization associated with your complaint. Please read or download “A Guide for Individuals”.
You can also call toll-free at 1-800-282-1376. One of the information officers can answer any questions you may have about the complaints process. It was nice in our experience, talking to a person about this process, rather than an automated phone system.
If after reading the guide and you choose to file a privacy complaint against a private-sector organization, use one of these 3 options off of the Privacy Commissioners of Canada website :
- Fill out the online complaint form from the Privacy Commissioners website. (link is on top right)
- Fill out a complaint form electronically, print and mail or fax your complaint : Download a PDF version
- Print a complaint form, fill out by hand and mail or fax your complaint : Download a RTF version
** Note: If you are filing out a complaint form on behalf of someone else, you will need written authorization from that person.
Here is a link to the OPC Authorization form.
Instructions :If you use option 2 or 3, you send your completed form to:
Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
112 Kent Street
Place de Ville, Tower B, 3rd Floor
Ottawa, ON K1A 1H3
Inquiries: 1-800-282-1376 (toll-free)
There is no charge for filing a complaint with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and you do not need to hire any special advisors to help you with the process. It was, in our experience, a pretty straight forward process, even though the parties that filed complaints in our case did not agree with some of the findings. Not all matters have been settled by the Privacy Commissioner ,in our complaints filed against Landlord Legal.
The personal information you provide on this form is protected under the provisions of the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act.
** Be aware your name and the details of your complaint will be shared with the organization that is the subject of the complaint.