Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)

Like all departments of the University of Toronto, the University of Toronto 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 University of Toronto Archives?

When an accession is cited as being "subject to review under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act", it 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 and classified as A Accessions. Patient files in medical practitioners' private records are also subject to the Act. The access statement in the records accession record will state "subject to review under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act".

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 Also, unpublished theses, most photographs, moving image records, architectural drawings, and works of art are not subject to FIPPA.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 and classified as B Accessions. Instead, access to the donated private material of individuals, institutions, and organizations is subject to specific donor agreements.

How do University administrators access University records that have been transferred to the University Archives and are subject to the FIPPA Act?

How does a researcher or a member of the public access records that are subject to the FIPPA?