Access to information and privacy

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment; to implement Canada’s international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy; and to disseminate objective scientific, technical and regulatory information to the public.

To achieve its mission, some of the Commission's programs and services require the collection, use, disclosure and retention of information and records.

  • The Access to Information Act governs access to information contained in federal government records. This means that Canadian citizens, permanent residents, persons present in Canada, or corporations can, formally or informally, request records under the control of the CNSC.
  • The Privacy Act governs the collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information and gives all individuals in Canada access to information about themselves.

The CNSC ensures compliance with Canada's laws on access to information and on the protection of personal information by:

  • providing advice to anyone seeking information under our control
  • preparing Annual Reports to Parliament outlining how we operate, the volume of requests received, and how we have responded to those requests
  • providing assistance on how to file complaints should it be necessary to approach the Information Commissioner or Privacy Commissioner
  • developing and maintaining privacy impact assessments

Annual reports:

Access to Information Act

Privacy Act

Principles for assisting applicants

In processing your access request under the Access to Information Act, we will:

  1. Process your request without regard to your identity.
  2. Offer reasonable assistance throughout the request process.
  3. Provide information on the Access to Information Act, including information on the processing of your request and your right to complain to the Information Commissioner of Canada.
  4. Inform you as appropriate and without undue delay when your request needs to be clarified.
  5. Make every reasonable effort to locate and retrieve the requested records under the control of the government institution.
  6. Apply limited and specific exemptions to the requested records.
  7. Provide accurate and complete responses.
  8. Provide timely access to the requested information.
  9. Provide records in the format and official language requested, as appropriate.
  10. Provide an appropriate location within the government institution to examine the requested information.

Privacy impact assessment (PIA)

The development and maintenance of privacy impact assessments (PIAs) represents a measure to assure Canadians that privacy principles are being taken into account for any proposals (as well as during the design, implementation and evolution) of programs and services that raise privacy issues.

These PIAs provide a framework for privacy considerations throughout the design or redesign of programs or services. The assessments will identify the extent to which proposals comply with the provisions of the federal Privacy Act, related regulations and the Treasury Board Secretariat's Privacy Impact Assessment Policy. PIAs assist managers and decision-makers in avoiding or mitigating privacy risks, and promote fully informed policy, program and system design choices.

Privacy impact assessment public summaries

When personal information is being collected, subsection 5(2) of the Privacy Act requires government institutions to notify individuals about intended uses, consistent uses and disclosure. To complement this requirement and to promote a broader understanding of how the privacy issues related to the program or service have been addressed, these institutions must make summaries of their privacy assessments results available to the public.

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