January 16, 2008
Government to Proclaim Privacy Provisions of ATIPP Act
In keeping with the Williams Government commitment to openness and accountability and in the interest of protecting the personal information of citizens, the Honourable Jerome Kennedy, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, announced that the privacy provisions of The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPP) will be proclaimed today.
"The people of Newfoundland and Labrador have an expected right of privacy when their information is in the possession of a government department or public body," said Minister Kennedy. "By proclaiming the privacy provisions of the ATIPP Act we are ensuring that appropriate protocols are in place for the collection, use and disclosure of personal information."
Under the privacy provisions of the ATIPP Act protocols are to be followed by all Provincial Government departments and public bodies that collect, use and disclose personal information of citizens such as a date of birth or social insurance number. As well, the privacy provisions allow citizens the right to request access to, and correction of, their personal information as well as the right to know why their information is being collected and how it is used.
"The privacy provisions of the ATIPP Act place a degree of control and responsibility into the hands of individual citizens," continued Minister Kennedy. "In today�s society it is important for each of us to have access to, and knowledge about, our personal information and how it is being managed."
The ATIPP Office has provided training sessions for Provincial Government departments and public bodies to prepare them for the proclamation of the privacy provisions and will continue to provide such training and support to these entities. As well, the ATIPP Act outlines penalties should a willful violation of the privacy provisions occur.
"Our government committed to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador that we would be open and accountable and I want to assure them that personal information, when held by a government department or public body, is treated with the utmost respect," said Minister Kennedy. "We take this responsibility seriously and have acted in a manner that will provide a more accountable and open system for both the people of the province who have their information placed in our care and those who work with this information."
The Williams Government has demonstrated unprecedented levels of openness and accountability through numerous initiatives such as the establishment of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, drafting and passing the province�s first lobbyist legislation as well as the Transparency and Accountability Act and fixed-term election dates. "The proclamation of the privacy provisions of the ATIPP Act is another concrete example of our commitment to openness and accountability for the people of Newfoundland and Labrador," said Minister Kennedy.
2008 01 16 11:30 a.m.
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