Collection and Disclosure of Limited Personal Information Was Not in Violation of Access and Privacy Laws

August 4, 2009

An investigation by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has determined that the disclosure and collection of personal information on a long term disability file did not violate the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) or the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP).

An individual complained that the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) had collected his personal information inappropriately from a third party. The individual believed that SAIT should not have collected his personal information since he was no longer employed by the institution. He also complained that the Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada should not have disclosed his personal information to his former employer.

Upon review of the matter, the investigator determined that the individual had given consent when he signed forms as part of his Long Term Disability plan. The investigator found that Sun Life had wording on its form permitting the collection and disclosure of personal information for the purposes of managing the complainant’s file.

The investigator did recommend that both SAIT and Sun Life update consent forms for greater clarity of what information will be collected and disclosed.

Both SAIT and Sun Life have agreed to the recommendations and are in the process of updating their forms.