Part 3 – Privacy Breach Prevention & Response

What is a privacy breach?

  • A privacy breach occurs when personal information (PI) is disclosed in contravention of the FIPPA.

Examples of real breaches:

  • Lost or misplaced information (e.g., lost laptop)
  • Stolen information (through hacking or physical theft)
  • Unauthorized use (including viewing) or disclosure of information, whether accidentally or deliberately

Key Point

All Institutions will have policies detailing the following: faculty, staff, contractors and volunteers have a duty to report suspected privacy breaches to their supervisor or manager, who will then initiate an investigation by reporting it to the Privacy Office.

When you suspect a privacy breach

What do you do?

What does the institution do?

A privacy breach may cause substantial personal harm to the affected individuals and may also result in financial and reputational harm to the institution. So when you handle any Personal Information remember to do so appropriately.

If information is released or accessed without consent and when the disclosure is not permitted by FIPPA, this is considered a breach.

Learn More

Institutions may have policies detailing:


Click here for the next module: Part 4 – Records Management


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To the extent possible under law, Marion Hansen, Manager, Privacy & Records Management, Brock University have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy, except where otherwise noted.

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