Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
August 18, 2017

Sentence Imposed in Privacy Breach Charges Pursuant to the ATIPPA, 2015

On August 18, 2017 Annette Kennedy entered guilty pleas to three offences contrary to section 115 of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015. The charges related to Ms. Kennedy accessing personal information without lawful authority while in the employ of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary.

The Court imposed a total fine of $1000.00 for the three offences.

After a complaint to the RNC by a person who suspected that their personal information may have been accessed inappropriately, an investigation determined that the personal information of that person and two other persons had been accessed by Ms. Kennedy via database(s) she had access to in the course of her employment. As there was no legitimate business purpose to access the personal information of these persons, viewing this information constituted an offence pursuant to section 115 of the ATIPPA, 2015.

This is the first conviction entered under the ATIPPA, 2015 in Newfoundland and Labrador and is only the third conviction under a public sector privacy statute in Canada.

Commissioner Donovan Molloy issued the following comment in relation to the sentencing today: “I believe justice has been served today and that the Court has recognized the seriousness of these offences. Citizens of the province are required to provide their personal information to public bodies in order to obtain services and other benefits. They place a high degree of trust in public bodies and their employees to protect their personal information from unauthorized use and disclosure. Prosecutions serve to reiterate the message that there can be extremely serious consequences to those who breach this trust. As Commissioner responsible for overseeing the ATIPPA, 2015, I want to assure Newfoundlanders and Labradorians that we will hold any individual or organization accountable in circumstances such as these.”

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is an independent Office of the House of Assembly which oversees compliance with the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (ATIPPA).

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Media contact
Sean Murray
Director of Special Projects
(709) 729-6309

2017 08 18                                                    12:55 p.m.