Letter 23-2: Notice to Third Party Under Subsection 23(3) Regarding Personal Privacy
use this letter to advise the third party that an applicant has requested access to information that affects the personal privacy of the third party
File or Reference Number:
Third party's name and address
Re: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Request for information
Dear [third party's name]:
[Name of public body] has received a request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) to disclose [describe records as they relate to the third party]. A copy of the information that pertains to you is attached. [ Include a copy of the record whenever it is possible to do so without disclosing information that is excepted under the Act].
We would appreciate receiving your views regarding disclosure of this information.
As the attached description of Section 22 indicates, the Act requires [public body] to withhold personal information if it is determined that disclosure of the information would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy.
The requested records have been review by [public body] and it has been determined that the disclosure of information in these records could potentially be an unreasonable invasion of your personal privacy. Your input would be valuable in helping [public body] decide whether to disclose them.
After reviewing the attached material, please write to [me, or name and job title] by [date], indicating whether you would consider disclosure of these records to be an invasion of your privacy. You have the opportunity to either: (1) consent to the disclosure of the information; (2) request that the (public body) remove some of the information, while disclosing the remainder, providing written representations as to why the information should be withheld; or (3) make written representations explaining why you feel all the information should not be disclosed. If you wish to have any of the information withheld, it is important that you provide clear and specific reasons directly related to Section 22 of the Act.
Your input will be considered along with other relevant factors in deciding whether to release the requested information. Please note that if we do not receive written representations from you by the date indicated above, we are required under the Act to make a decision based on the information that we have available. I will write to you by [date] to inform you of [public body's] decision on the release of this information.
For further information concerning your rights and responsibilities under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please refer to the attached Explanatory Note on "Third Party Notice re: Personal Information".
If you have any questions or concerns, please write or call me at 250 [telephone number]. You may be transferred to this number free of charge by calling Service BC at 604 660-2421 in Vancouver or at 1 800 663-7867 outside Victoria and Vancouver.
Freedom of Information and Privacy
ATTACHMENT to Letter 23-2
THIRD PARTY NOTICE RE: PERSONAL INFORMATION
Purpose of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (the Act) balances the public's right of access to government records with the need to protect the privacy of individuals whose personal information is held by government ministries and other public bodies.
When a request is made for access to records, we are required to provide access to as much of the requested information as possible and may only withhold information covered by the specific exceptions provided in the Act.
Request for Access to Your Personal Information
We have received a request under the Act by another individual for access to your personal information. Under Section 22 of the Act, the head of the public body must refuse access to the information if disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of your personal privacy. For example, except in rare circumstances, [name of public body] would not disclose information related to an individual's medical or psychiatric history or information that would indicate an individual's racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religious or political beliefs or associations.
Opportunity for Input
[Name of public body] is sending you notice of this request in order to give you an opportunity to consent to release or express any concerns that you may have regarding the disclosure of the personal information. Your input would be valuable in helping [name of public body] make an informed decision on whether or not to disclose the requested information.
You may respond to this notice by:
- Consenting in writing to the disclosure of some or all of the information; or
- Making written representations to the [public body] explaining why the disclosure would be an unjustified invasion of your privacy.
If you choose to make written representations, your representations will be one of the factors that the public body considers in deciding whether to disclose the requested information. Your reasons should be as clear and specific as possible in order to help the [name of public body] decide whether or not to disclose the requested information.
The following factors will be considered by the [name of public body] in deciding whether or not disclosure of the requested information would be an unreasonable invasion of your personal privacy:
[list those factors that the public body considers may be relevant, whether or not these factors are listed in subsection 22(2)]
Please note that these are only some of the factors that may be relevant. The Act requires that we consider all of the relevant circumstances in making a decision. You may address the factors listed above or any other considerations that you feel are relevant to our decision in your response to this notice.
In making your representations:
- direct your comments only to the question of whether or not your personal information should be released;
- include detailed, factual and objective evidence in support of your representations; and
- identify the exact portions of the records which you wish us to withhold. (You may highlight information on the enclosed copies that you feel should not be disclosed.)
Notification of Decision and Right of Appeal
[Name of public body] will consider your representations in deciding whether or not to disclose the requested personal information. If we decide to disclose all or some of the information, we will notify you before the information is disclosed so that you may have an opportunity to request a review of the decision. Under section 52 of the Act, you may ask the Information and Privacy Commissioner to review the decision of the [public body] regarding the release of this information. You have 20 days from the receipt of the [public body]’s letter to request a review by writing to:
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia
PO Box 9038 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, BC V8W 9A4
Telephone: (250) 387-5629 (250) 387-5629
Fax: (250) 387-1696
If you request a review, please provide the Commissioner’s office with:
- Your name, address and telephone number;
- The request number assigned to your request (the “reference number” quoted at the top of the letter);
- A copy of the [name of the public body]’s decision letter; and
- The reasons or grounds upon which you are requesting the review.
For further information, please contact [Director/Manager of Freedom of Information and Privacy named in the covering letter, or name and job title].