Privacy FAQ

  1. Question: What is the Personal Information and Protection Act (PIPA)?

    Answer: The Personal Information and Protection Act (PIPA) is an Alberta law, which governs provincial private sector organizations.


    • gives individuals a right of access to personal information about themselves;
    • gives individuals a right to request correction of personal information about themselves if they believe it contains an error or omission;
    • prevents the unauthorized collection, use and disclosure of personal information that an organization holds in its custody or under their control

    The right of access to personal information records is subject to specific exceptions to disclosure. These exceptions are designed to protect information such as personal information, law enforcement activities, third party business information, and legal advice.

    PIPA protects privacy by placing limits on the collection, use and disclosure of personal information. As well, private organizations are required to ensure that personal information is held securely and is accessible only by those who need access to the information in order to carry out their job responsibilities.

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  2. Question: What is a personal information record?

    Answer: Record means “a record of information in any form.” It includes information that is written, photographed, recorded or stored in any manner. It includes hard copy and electronic data, including email.

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  3. Question: Who is an Authorized Representative?

    Answer: As per the Personal Information and Protection Act: “An authorized representative may take the place of the individual”. This means that another person has the authority to do what the individual can do under the Act. An authorized representative may be:

    • A guardian of a minor (someone who makes the day-to-day decisions affecting a minor, or who has care and control of the minor – this would often be a parent or a guardian appointed by the court)
    • An executor or administrator of the estate of an individual who has died
    • A guardian or trustee of a dependent adult
    • An individual acting with the written authorization of an individual
    • An individual who is acting under a ‘power of attorney.’

      First Calgary Financial may request formal documentation to provide a person’s authority to act on behalf of an individual.

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    • Question: Is there a fee to access my personal information or make a correction?

      Answer: There is no application fee for Request to Access Information. First Calgary Financial may charge a reasonable fee to cover costs such as postage or photocopying. If the request involves only a few pages of records that are easy to locate, there is no fee. If the request involves a larger number of records, and it takes a long time to locate and produce the records, individuals will be advised of an estimate in writing, and prior to search. A deposit may be required upon acceptance of the estimate.

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    • Question: When will First Calgary Financial respond to my Request to Access Information?

      Answer: First Calgary Financial must respond within 45 days of receiving your request.

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    • Question: Do I have to file a formal request under PIPA to access any or all information about me?

      Answer: No. PIPA is in addition to and does not replace existing procedures for access to personal information records. First Calgary Financial will continue to routinely provide information when requested and proactively disclose information to the individual. However, when routinely and proactively disclosing information, Fist Calgary Financial must not disclose another person’s personal information or business information that could harm a third party.

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    • Question: What exactly is personal information?

      Answer: Personal information is “information that can identify an individual.” It includes among other things a person’s name, address, email address, telephone number, age, financial information, and identifying numbers. This is not an exhaustive list. Any information about an identifiable individual is that person’s personal information.

      As per PIPA: “Business contact information is a sub-set of personal information. It includes an individuals name and position or title, business telephone number, business address, business email, business fax number and other business contact information.” This information is not covered by PIPA and is not considered personal information.

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    • Question: Under what circumstances can my request be declined or refused?

      Answer: Requests for access to personal information can be refused in a number of situations. The most common reasons for refusal are: (list is not exhaustive – See Section 24(2))

      • Information is protected by legal privilege;
      • When access would give away confidential commercial information;
      • When information was collected in the course of an investigation or legal proceeding; and
      • When a mediator or arbitrator collected the information.
        Requests must be refused when: (list is not exhaustive – See Section 24 (3), (4))
      • Could threaten the life or security of another individual;
      • Would disclose personal information about another individual; and
      • Would identify the person who gave an opinion about someone else in confidence and the individual giving the opinion does not consent to the disclosure of his/her identity.

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    • Question: What if I want more information on exceptions to access request?

      Answer: See PIPA Advisory 7 – Access Requests – Exception to Access. Available at

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