Correction Request – What you Need to Know!
So, you are an individual who believes that a public body has an error/omission regarding your personal information/personal health information in a record – what do you do? Subsection 32(1) of The Freedom of Information of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP), subsection 31(1) of The Local Authority Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (LA FOIP), and section 13 of The Health Information Protection Act (HIPA) provide an individual with the right of correction (FOIP and LA FOIP) or right to request amendment (HIPA).
The right of correction/amendment provides individuals a mechanism for requesting the correction of personal information/amendment to personal health information, about themselves when they believe that there is an error or omission in the information. If the public body declines to make the requested correction, it is required to make a notation in its records reflecting the correction that was requested but not made (Guide to FOIP, Chapter 6, Protection of Privacy, Updated 18 January 2023 (Guide to FOIP, Ch. 6), p. 290).
“Notation” is a note made on the individual’s record by the personal information/personal health information at issue or in an electronic record indicating that the individual has requested correction of the personal information/amendment of personal health information. A notation should also include the date, who requested the correction/amendment, what the requested correction/amendment was and a signature or name of the decision-maker (Guide to FOIP, Ch. 6, pp. 292).
Please note that a request for correction/amendment from an individual must, at a minimum:
- Identify the personal information/personal health information the individual believes is in error. That personal information/personal health information must be the personal information/personal health information of the individual and not of a third party.
- The alleged error must be a factual error or omission.
- The request must include some evidence to support the allegation of error or omission (e.g., documents to show correct birth date/medical condition). Mere assertions will not suffice.
- The proposed correction must be clearly stated and cannot be a substitution of opinion.
(Guide to FOIP, Ch. 6, pp. 292)
When our office received a request for review regarding correction/amendment of personal information/personal health information, our office will rely on the evidence provided by the individual, but also request a submission from the public body or trustee before making a final determination.