CAN DP Sharing Personal Info
On Aug. 12, CAN DP guidance on public sector privacy protection.
- Released fact sheet to educate on public sector responsibilities to protect personal information (PI), and when government allowed to share PI with law enforcement.
- Government Disclosure
- Government agencies are required to share PI in accordance with warrant, court order.
- Agencies may share PI with police without warrant or court order in certain situations.
- Such situations include when needed to aid investigation or for health, safety reasons.
- Agency must carefully assess the circumstances before deciding whether to disclose.
- They must protect PI, and to follow rules when collecting, using, and disclosing it.
- Aid Investigation
- Request must be for specific information and be related to a specific investigation.
- Agency must determine if disclosure may intrude on reasonable expectation of privacy.
- It should consider: nature of investigation; relevance of PI to investigation; sensitivity of PI; number of individuals the information relates to; timeframe; number of events.
- If agency determines disclosing would intrude on a reasonable expectation of privacy, then it should only disclose with court order, with exception of urgent circumstances.
- In urgent case, agency should ask why it was not possible to get a court order.
- Urgent circumstances may be kidnapping, violent escapee, missing vulnerable person.
- Health or Safety
- Agency must be satisfied that compelling concerns exist with someone’s health or safety, after considering severity, and likelihood and how soon harm might occur.
- Criminal Offense
- May share PI with law enforcement on agency’s own initiative if it reasonably believes that an offense has occurred, but should only disclose pertinent information.
- For example, sharing surveillance video of crime, but not all the footage from that day.
- Notice Requirements
- Agencies must make reasonable efforts to notify person in writing if PI disclosed for health or safety reasons; in case of an investigation, it may notify if not compromise.
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Last substantive update on 08/13/2019