The Information and Privacy Commissioner enforces two pieces of legislation: the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

The Privacy Act covers disputes between private citizens and is outside of the Commissioner’s jurisdiction

  • The Privacy Act. This Act controls how federal government agencies manage personal information and gives individuals the right to access any of their information held by the federal government. The Privacy Act established the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC), who is an Officer of Parliament. The Privacy Commissioner can audit governmental institutions and has the power to investigate complaints.
  • The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). PIPEDA governs how private sector businesses handle personal information; it requires the consumer to explicitly consent to the collection, use, or disclosure of their data. Plus, individuals have the right to access their information and make changes. The OPC also oversees this Act because it applies to federally regulated businesses in industries like banking, airline travel, and telecommunications. Any business that collects personal information about Canadian citizens is subject to this law, regardless of whether they have a physical presence in the country.