Friday, September 25, 2009

Nova Scotia significantly amends public sector privacy law

Nova Scotia has just given the privacy provisions of FOIPOP some teeth with the passage of the Privacy Review Officer Act:

New Privacy Act Proclaimed News Releases Government of Nova Scotia

Department of Justice

September 25, 2009 10:34 AM

Personal information will be more secure under the Privacy Review Officer Act that takes effect today, Sept. 25.

The new act provides authority to a review officer to investigate breaches of privacy when people and organizations are not satisfied with how information shared with government or public bodies such as hospitals, universities and school boards is handled.

"This act demonstrates government's commitment to the security and safety of the personal information Nova Scotians entrust to their public bodies," said Justice Minister Ross Landry.

The government has appointed Freedom of Information Review Officer Dulcie McCallum, to this new position. A former ombudsman for the Province of British Columbia, Ms. McCallum was appointed the Freedom of Information Review Officer in 2007 for a five-year term.

Nova Scotia joins all other Canadian provinces and the federal government which have some kind of legislative authority for external review or oversight.

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