Law Enforcement Review Board Decision Posted on Its Website Does Not Contravene the FOIP Act

September 30, 2013

An investigation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) found that the Law Enforcement Review Board did not contravene the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act) when it disclosed a police officer’s name in a decision posted on its website.

The police officer’s conduct was questioned during an incident, leading to a disciplinary hearing and a determination of misconduct. The officer appealed that determination to the Board. The Board heard the appeal in public and issued a decision, which it posted on its website.

The police officer complained to the OIPC that the posting of a decision that is retrievable using his name in a web search engine was a breach of his privacy.

The investigation determined that the FOIP Act permitted the Board to disclose the officer’s personal information to the general public in a decision on its website. The public disclosure of the personal information was consistent with the original purposes for which the Board collected and compiled the information, i.e. conducting appeals in public. Further, the personal information in the decision was limited to the essential elements and the information was disclosed only to the extent necessary for the Board to carry out its purposes in a reasonable manner.

The investigation report sets out privacy-sensitive factors the Board, and other adjudicative bodies, should consider when posting decisions online.