Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Irony 101: Privacy commissioner seeks to violate client privacy

I can see why the Canadian Privacy Commissioner wanted to view this records, but the Supreme Court's rule of separation of powers makes sense.

It goes to show that the overweening use of administrative power isn't unique to the Bush administration.

The [Canadian Supreme Court] decision is believed to be the court's first pronouncement on federal privacy legislation, passed eight years ago to protect personal information collected and used by the private sector, and gives individuals the right to access their own personal information, subject to several exceptions.

The case began six years ago when Annette Soup was fired from her job at the Blood Tribe Department of Health in southern Alberta. Soup sought access to her employee file to review certain information about her she said was inaccurate, and had been improperly collected and used to discredit her.

When her employer refused, Soup filed a complaint with the federal privacy commissioner. When investigating the complaint, an assistant privacy commissioner requested the records from the health department.

The employer refused to hand over correspondence with its lawyer, saying it was protected by solicitor-client privilege, despite assurances from the privacy commission that the information would not be shared with Soup and would be viewed only to verify the privilege was properly claimed. |Top court upholds solicitor-client privilege - Canada.com|

No comments: