Frequently Asked Questions - Your Privacy

The Act came into effect on in the Northwest Territories on December 31st, 1996 and became part of the law of Nunavut on division day. It applies to all territorial departments and most territorial agencies, boards and commissions, as well as Aurora College.

"Personal information" means recorded information about you. This may include your name, address, sex, age, education, medical or employment history - and any other information about you.

Government organizations collect personal information as part of their role in providing services to the public. You give personal information to a government organization when you fill out an application for programs or services, such as a driver's licence or building permit.

The Act requires government organizations to protect the privacy of your personal information in their possession. There are specific rules on how they may collect, use, retain, disclose and dispose of your personal information.

The government organization must tell you how it intends to use the information it collects. It must also provide you with the name of the person in the organization who can answer any questions you may have about how your personal information will be used.

Access to your personal information is usually available only to persons in the government organization who need the information to do their jobs.

There are certain public records containing personal information which are open to all members of the public. Land registration records and assessment rolls are examples of this type of record.

There is no master file about you. If you've dealt with a government organization, it will probably have information about you. For example, the Department of Transportation has your driving record, a school board has your child's school records and the Department of Health and Social Services has your doctor's billing records.

In most circumstances, the Act gives you the right to see your personal information held by a government organization. In many cases, you should be able to obtain your personal information just by calling, writing or visiting the appropriate government organization. (If unsure of an address or telephone number, consult the Blue Pages in your telephone directory.)

Contact the government organization which has the information and explain that you would like to correct your personal information. If the government organization refuses to correct your personal information, you may require that a statement of disagreement be attached to your file.

If you didn't obtain the information you want, or they refuse to correct your personal information, make a written Request for Information.

Not really. Simply follow these steps:

Step 1:
Complete a request form, or write a letter stating that you are requesting information or asking for a correction of your personal information under the Act. (Request forms are available on line and from government organizations around Nunavut)

Step 2: Forward the completed request form or letter to the "Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Co-ordinator" at the government organization most likely to have the information you are looking for.

There is generally no fee to request your own personal information. Depending on the extent of the request and the number of records requested, however, you may be charged for the time required to locate and prepare records containing your personal information and for photocopying and shipping costs.

Government organizations that receive information requests under the Acts must respond within 30 calendar days of receipt of a request.

If the government organization won't allow you to see or correct your personal information, you have the right to ask the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the decision made. There is no cost to file a Request for Review.

To request a review, write a letter to the IPC, describing why you are not satisfied with the government organization's decision.