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Information access and privacy legislation and policies: overview

Overview of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act, Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA), Privacy Review Officer (PRO) Act, Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) regulations and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) policies.

The acts, regulations and policies related to information access and privacy govern how people in Nova Scotia have the right to access some government information, and how they also have the right to have their privacy protected.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPOP) Act is the overarching piece of legislation relating to information access and privacy in Nova Scotia. The act provides access to most records under the control of the Government of Nova Scotia, while also protecting the privacy of individuals who don’t want their personal information made public. The act aims for balance between an individual’s right to know and an individual’s right to privacy.

The act applies to public sector bodies, including Government of Nova Scotia departments, agencies, boards and commissions, as well as community colleges, Nova Scotia Health Authority, IWK Health Centre, universities and school boards.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulations

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Regulations expand on definitions used in the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and establish which forms to use in Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy processes.

Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy policy

Government policy related to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy includes the Privacy Policy.

Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act

The Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act provides additional protection to the personal information held by Nova Scotia public sector bodies and municipalities when that personal information is being collected, used or disclosed by those organizations. This law builds on the privacy protection provided by other provincial legislation, including the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It also provides privacy protection where a service provider acts on behalf of either of them in those activities. It does not relate to personal information held by individuals, businesses and organizations in the private sector unless they are doing work on behalf of a public sector body or municipality.

Privacy Review Officer Act

The Privacy Review Officer Act gives citizens the opportunity to challenge a response from a public sector body to their privacy complaint with the oversight body, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner. It also provides the oversight body with other powers like the ability to initiate an investigation if the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner believes there has been contravention of the privacy provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

A public sector body can be fined up to $5,000 for violating the laws set out in the Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act.

Legislation

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