PRIVACY & ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Brownlee provides guidance and advice on a wide range of privacy and access to information matters to help businesses and public organizations effectively handle their information.
Privacy legislation is a complex topic, which is why our clients rely on Brownlee to ensure that they are in compliance with their statutory obligations. Our clients seek to strike that delicate balance between being open, accountable and transparent while still keeping sensitive information confidential.
Brownlee has represented clients before the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Alberta Court of King’s Bench and the Federal Court on matters related to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the Health Information Act, the Personal Information Protection Act and the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA).
Clients seeking help with privacy and access to information include:
- school boards
- health organizations (including health institutions and ambulance authorities)
- registered psychologists
- non-profit organizations
COMPLIANCE WITH PRIVACY OBLIGATIONS
Public bodies, private organizations and non-profit organizations that collect, use and disclose personal information have specified obligations under various privacy statutes regarding how they handle such sensitive information. In that regard, we help our clients by:
- advising on privacy policies, practices and complaints regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal information
- advising on terms and conditions of contracts, agreements and consent forms regarding the collection, use and disclosure of personal health information (including those that occur between law enforcement, ambulance services and consultants)
- reviewing, drafting and advising on privacy policies and consent forms
- reviewing, drafting and advising on records retention policies
- assessing and responding to complaints regarding privacy breaches
- reviewing, drafting and advising on Privacy Impact Assessments
- advising on and advocating for clients at mediations, investigations, and inquiries before information and privacy commissioners (both at the provincial and federal levels) regarding privacy and personal information matters
ACCESS TO INFORMATION
Access to information legislation places obligations on a public body to maintain openness, accountability and transparency. This includes a right of access to any and all records in the custody or under the control of a public body, subject to specified exceptions to disclosure. In that regard we help our clients by:
- reviewing, drafting and advising on freedom of information bylaws for municipalities and school boards
- advising on access to information policies, practices and complaints
- reviewing, drafting and advising on freedom of information policies
- advising on access to information requests
- advising on and advocating for clients in mediations, investigations and inquiries before information and privacy commissioners (both at the provincial and federal levels) regarding access to information matters.
STEVEN T. CONNORS litigation practice area leader