On April 13, 2001, the Edmonton Journal reported that a social worker with Alberta Hospital Edmonton had mistakenly faxed patient information to its newsroom. Bob Clark, Information and Privacy Commissioner, subsequently authorized an investigation into this matter under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the “FOIP Act”).
The investigation found that the Mental Health Act applied to the information disclosed, and not the FOIP Act. Consequently, the Commissioner had no jurisdiction over the disclosure.
The disclosure was an unfortunate incident due to human error. As a result of the incident, Alberta Mental Health Board conducted a review into this matter and has undertaken steps to ensure such an incident does not recur.