Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
Victoria University Archives is subject to the Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
What is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)?
The Ontario Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which came into force in 1988, has the dual function of ensuring that the public has the right to access information held by Ontario public bodies, while at the same time protecting an individual's privacy. This law affects most provincial government departments, agencies, boards, and commissions. With the extension of FIPPA to Ontario universities in June 2006, University records under the University Archives' custody or control are now subject to this provincial legislation.
How does the Act affect your research at the Victoria University Archives?
When records are cited as being “subject to review under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act,” they must be reviewed before the records can be released. Therefore, when planning to undertake research at the University Archives, you should check the access status of the records that you intend to use and build additional time into your timeline to allow for the review of records.
What records at the University Archives are subject to FIPPA?
FIPPA applies to University records under the custody and control of the University Archives. The access statement in the finding aid will state “subject to review under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act.”
Applicable time limits under FIPPA
- All records older than 100 years are open.
- Personal information about an individual who has been dead for more than 30 years is open.
- Records of closed meetings are open after 20 years if they contain no personal information.
What records at the University Archives are NOT subject to FIPPA?
The Act does not apply to all records at the University Archives. FIPPA does not apply to published information such as reports, newsletters, handbooks, and calendars. Also, most photographs, moving image records, architectural drawings, and works of art are not subject to FIPPA.
Further, FIPPA does not apply most records of private individuals and organizations acquired through donation. Instead, access to the donated private material of individuals, institutions, and organizations is subject to specific donor agreements.