History of Access and Privacy

1766

Sweden enacts its Freedom of the Press Act enshrining the principle of public access.

1948

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights refers to privacy as an international human right.

1977

The Canadian Human Rights Act is enacted (including some privacy protection).

A Canadian federal green paper on public access to information is produced.

1980

OECD Guidelines governing the protection of privacy and transborder flows of personal data are introduced.

1981

Saskatchewan Justice Minister, Roy Romanow, commissions former Chief Justice E.M. Culliton to write a report on the need for privacy and access law in Saskatchewan.

1982

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is enacted. The rights in section 7 to “security of the person” and in section 8 to be “secure against unreasonable search or seizure”, support the right to privacy.

1983

The federal Privacy Act is proclaimed.

The federal Access to Information Act is proclaimed.

Independent offices for the Information Commissioner of Canada and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada are established.

Former Chief Justice E.M. Culliton issues the “Culliton Report” recommending the enactment of a comprehensive access and privacy law in Saskatchewan.

1988

Privacy is described as an essential component of individual freedom in R. v. Dyment, 1988.

1992

Saskatchewan proclaims western Canada’s first comprehensive access and privacy law on April 1st: The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), affecting provincial government institutions.

The first Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed on a part-time basis.

1993

Saskatchewan proclaims The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP) on July 1st, which came into force immediately for municipal bodies. The Act came into force on July 1st 1994 for health care facilities, and on September 1st 1994 for educational facilities.

In General Motors Acceptance Corp. of Canada v. Saskatchewan Government Insurance (Sask. C.A) 1993, the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal describes FOIP’s purpose as reflecting “a general philosophy of full disclosure unless information is exempted under clearly delineated statutory language.”

1994

Quebec enacts Canada’s first private sector privacy legislation: An act respecting the protection of personal information in the private sector.

1995

The European Union issues a directive on data protection: EC Council Directive 95.46.EC.

The Canadian Standards Association Model Code for the Protection of Personal Information (CSA Model Code) is produced. The code is conceived as a voluntary tool to assist businesses and organizations in managing personal information.

2001

Proclamation takes place of some portions of the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), a federal law to protect personal information in Canada’s private sector by governing the collection, use and disclosure of personal information over borders and by federally regulated organizations. The Federal Privacy Commissioner’s Office is designated as the oversight agency.

2002

The right to privacy is referred to as carrying a “quasi-constitutional mission” in Lavigne v. Canada, 2002.

Access to information legislation is referred to as “quasi-constitutional” in Canada (Attorney General) v. Canada (Information Commissioner), 2002.

2003

Saskatchewan enacts The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) in September.

Saskatchewan appoints its first full-time Information and Privacy Commissioner in November.

2004

The remaining portions of PIPEDA are proclaimed, covering the private sector and all organizations that use, collect or disclose personal information in the course of commercial activity.

2005

The Pan-Canadian Health Information, Privacy and Confidentiality Framework is approved and accepted by all provinces and territories except Quebec and Saskatchewan.

2016

Bill 30 – An Act to amend The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and Bill 31 – An Act to amend The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act receive first reading in the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan