Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Alberta Commissioner Order about journalistic collection and disclosure of personal information

The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta just released a new Order in which the he determined he did not have jurisidction because the personal information in question was collected and disclosed for journalistic purposes, which is excluded from the purview of the Personal Information Protection Act.

Order P2005-004

Summary: The Complainant alleged that the Organization had disclosed the Complainant's personal information when it published a newspaper article. The Organization argued that the disclosure of personal information in the form of a newspaper article was for journalistic purposes only as provided for by section 4(3)(c) of the Personal Information Protection Act. As such the Act did not apply to the personal information in question. The Commissioner decided the personal information disclosed were materials written for publication in the media and therefore collected and disclosed for journalistic purposes only in accordance with section 4(3)(c). The Commissioner, having determined that he had no jurisdiction in the matter, further stated that he had no authority to determine the remaining issue of the inquiry, regarding the allocation of a complainant's burden of proof.

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