Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner Tables 2019-2020 Annual Report
Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ronald J. Kruzeniski, Q.C., has submitted his office’s 2019-2020 Annual Report: Issues in a Pandemic, to the Legislative Assembly. Kruzeniski stated:
In this pandemic, issues have arisen which have created considerable discussion and debate. Freedom of information and privacy legislation is not suspended during a pandemic and public bodies are still required to follow these statutes. At the same time, some public bodies are operating in extremely difficult and stressful times. The temptation can be to ignore access rules and privacy rules because we are fighting COVID-19. Ignoring the rules is not an option.
In terms of the issues of concern to navigate during and after a pandemic, the Commissioner highlighted and provided guidance on the following:
- Processing access requests;
- Sharing personal information and personal health information to prevent the spread of COVID-19;
- How to balance the public interest and privacy;
- Documenting decisions;
- Health Care Consultation Apps, Contact Notification and Tracing Apps;
- Virtual Meetings;
- Tips for Working at Home;
- Research: Post Pandemic;
- Travel Restrictions and Checkpoints;
- Questions, Screening or Testing by Employers Regarding COVID-19; and
- Health Screening of Staff and Visitors in Care Homes.
As a final thought, the Commissioner noted:
In conclusion, maintaining a sense of balance during these difficult times can be done. It just takes a bit of thinking through the principles.