The Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act came into effect on July 1, 1983.
These acts provide Canadian citizens, permanent residents or any person (or entity) present in Canada the legal right to obtain information, in any form, that is under the control of a government institution. The general purpose of these acts is to make government more open and transparent, allowing citizens to more fully participate in the democratic process.
Access to Information Act
The Access to Information Act
gives individuals a right to access records under the control of a federal government institution in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.
The Privacy Act protects the privacy of individuals with respect to personal information about themselves held by a government institution and provides individuals with a right to access and request correction to this information. In accordance with section 7 of the Privacy Act, personal information can only be used in accordance with the purpose for which the information was collected or for a use consistent with that purpose.
Information protected by the Privacy Act can only be disclosed with the consent of the person to whom it relates or in accordance with the exception terms of subsection 8(2) of the Privacy Act.
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