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Calgary Police Service FOIP complaint

Calgary Police Service FOIP complaint

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Published by edmontonjournal

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Published by: edmontonjournal on Apr 30, 2012
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04/30/2012

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 1
ALBERTAOFFICE OF THE INFORMATION AND PRIVACYCOMMISSIONER
ORDER F2012-07
 
April 20, 2012
CALGARY POLICE SERVICE
Case File Number F5542
Office URL:
www.oipc.ab.ca
Summary:
The Complainant was a civilian employee with the Calgary Police Service
(“Public Body”). In March 2010, the Public Body’s HR consultant was informed by theComplainant’s manager that several of the Complainant’s coworkers had made
allegations about the Com
 plainant’s behavior at work, including allegations of 
inappropriate sexual conduct.
The Public Body began to monitor the Complainant’s computer activities, as well as
 reviewing her past work email activity. While reviewing her work email, the IT Security
Manager (“IT Manager”) found a personal email that the Complainant had sent to a
family member, which included the login ID and password information for the
Complainant’s personal web
-based email account. The IT Manager used this informationto access the
Complainant’s personal email account and found photographs of a sexualnature, which appeared to have been taken on the Public Body’s premises. The IT
Manager copied these photographs,
and provided them to the Complainant’s manager and
the HR consultant.
These photographs were used in the Public Body’s decision toterminate the Complainant’s employment, and were also used by the Public Body during
the subsequent grievance process.The Complainant made a complaint to this office, stating that the Public Body collected,used, and disclosed her personal information in contravention of Part 2 of the
Freedom of  Information and Protection of Privacy Act 
(
FOIP Act
). Specifically, the Complainantobjected to the Public Body accessing her personal email account, and the subsequent
 
 2collection, use, and disclosure of photographs found by the Public Body in that emailaccount.The Public Body argued that the
collection of the Complainant’s personal information
occurred during the course of investigating the allegations of workplace misconductagainst the Complainant, and that the subsequent use and disclosure of the photographs
found in the Complainant’s pers
onal email account were for the same purpose as theywere collected.The Adjudicator
found that the Public Body collected the Complainant’s login ID and password to her personal email account in the course of reviewing the Complainant’s
work email, to which the Complainant did not object. However, Adjudicator found thatthe
use
of the
Complainant’s personal email login ID to access the Complainant’s
personal email was not for the purpose of employee management, since the IT Managerhad not been requested
to monitor the Complainant’s personal email
, rather only herwork email. There was also no evidence of wrongdoing that would justify accessing apersonal email account. The Adjudicator also noted that even were the use of the
Complainant’s personal informa
tion for the purpose of the workplace investigation, aPublic Body may only use personal information to the extent necessary to carry out itspurposes
in a reasonable manner 
; l
ogging in to the Complainant’s personal
web-basedemail account was exceptionally invasive, and patently unreasonable in thecircumstances.The Adjudicator found that the collection of the photographs
from the Complainant’s
personal email account could not be considered separately from the fact that they were
collected from the Complainant’s personal email account. Because the photographs, even
if relevant to the workplace investigation, were found as a result of an unauthorized
use
 of personal information, their collection and subsequent use could not be justified as
“necessary” for the
purpose of the
Public Body’s investigation.
 
The Adjudicator determined that the Complainant’s personal information was not
disclosed to, but rather used by, various employees of the Public Body. The Adjudicatorhad already determined that the use was not authorized under the Act, but found that evenif the personal information had been disclosed to the employees, the disclosure would nothave been authorized, for similar reasons.
Statutes Cited: AB:
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act 
,
 
R.S.A.2000, c. F-25, ss. 1, 33, 34, 39, 40, 72.
Authorities Cited: AB:
Orders 98-002, 2001-038, F2005-003, F2006-018, F2010-036.
I.
 
BACKGROUND
[para 1] The Complainant was a civilian employee with the Calgary Police Service
(“Public Body”). In March 2010, the Public Body’s HR consultant was informed by theSection Commander (the Complainant’s manager) that several of the Complainant’s
coworkers had made all
egations about the Complainant’s behavior at work, including that
 
 3the Complainant had (several months prior to the allegations) bragged about a sexualencounter with an officer at work; the officer was also employed by the Public Body.[para 2
] The Public Body’s HR consultant opened a workplace investigation. She alsoadvised the Professional Standards Section (“PSS”) of the allegation of sexual
misconduct between a civilian employee and an officer. The PSS investigator informedthe HR consultant that PSS was already conducting an unrelated investigation of theofficer involved, and that email correspondence of a sexual nature between the officerand the Complainant had been found.[para 3] The Public Body began to
monitor the Complainant’s computer activities, as
well as her past work email activity. While reviewing her work email, the IT Security
Manager (“IT Manager”) found a
personal email that the Complainant had sent to herbrother-in-law, which included the login ID and password information for the
Complainant’s personal web
-based email account. The IT Manager used this information
to access the Complainant’s personal email account and found photographs of a sexual
nature, which appeared to have been taken on the Public Body
’s
premises. The ITManager copied these photographs and provided them to the Section Commander and the
HR consultant. These photographs were used in the Public Body’s
decision to terminate
the Complainant’s employment, and were also used by
the Public Body during thesubsequent grievance process.[para 4] The Complainant made a complaint to this office, stating that the Public Bodycollected, used and disclosed her personal information in contravention of Part 2 of the
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act 
(FOIP Act).
II.
 
INFORMATION AT ISSUE
[para 5] The information at issue consists of the login ID and password of the
Complainant’s personal email account and the photographs of the Compl
ainant collectedfrom her personal email account.
III.
 
ISSUES
[para 6] Per the Notice of Inquiry, dated July 12, 2011, the issue in this inquiry is:
1.
 
Did the Public Body collect, use and/or
disclose the Complainant’s personal
information in contravention of Part 2 of the Act?
I will address this issue in three parts:
A.
 
Did the Public Body collect
the Complainant’s personal information in
contravention of Part 2 of the Act?
 
B.
 
Did the Public Body use
the Complainant’s personal information in
contravention of Part 2 of the Act?
 

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