Collection Notice Guidance
Use this guidance to understand collection notice requirements under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA). This guidance is for ministry and non-ministry public bodies in B.C.
FOIPPA requires public bodies to provide a collection notice to an individual when collecting their personal information. These notices help people understand the purpose of the collection of their personal information and where they can go for more information about how their personal information is handled.
The first step is to determine whether you need a collection notice under FOIPPA. If a notice is needed you must prepare it in accordance with specific timing, content and form requirements found in FOIPPA.
Step 1: Determine if a Collection Notice is Required
You must provide a collection notice in most situations where you’re collecting personal information. Section 27(2) of FOIPPA outlines the information you must include in a collection notice.
- Learn what information to include in your collection notice
There are limited circumstances when you do not need to provide a collection notice. These can include (but are not limited to) circumstances in which you collect information:
- That is about law enforcement
- Indirectly (not from the individual the information is about), and you have authority under FOIPPA for indirect collection
- By observation at a voluntary public event
Contact your Ministry Privacy Officer or your organization’s Privacy Officer if you believe you do not need to provide a collection notice based on the exceptions.
Step 2: Prepare a Collection Notice
Timing of a Collection Notice
You must provide a collection notice to an individual before you collect their personal information. For example, a collection notice often appears at the top of forms or documents used to collection personal information.
Form of a Collection Notice
You should provide a written collection notice when possible.
All collection notices must include the:
- Purpose for the collection
- Legal authority for the collection
- Contact information for an officer or an employee of the public body
You must include contact information for an officer or employee who can answer the individual’s questions about the collection. The officer or employee should be able to explain why the personal information is being collected and how it will be used, retained, and disclosed. The contact method should suit the collection method. For example, if you collect personal information through an online form, you could include an email contact.
You can use this template to write your collection notice:
Your personal information will be collected for [purpose]. If you have any questions about the collection of this personal information, please contact:
[contact information of an officer or employee of the public body who can answer questions about the collection]
This information is being collected by [name of public body] under [legal authority for collection, including section of applicable enactment].