Social Media Policy
The Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC) is an independent officer of the legislature whose mandate is to oversee compliance with public sector access and privacy legislation and health privacy legislation in the province of Ontario.
The IPC uses a number of social media channels — including Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube — as tools to communicate to Ontarians (and others) interested in privacy, access and related issues.
The IPC’s social media accounts are managed by its communications team on behalf of colleagues across the IPC.
IPC on Social Media
The IPC will do its best to deliver content that is relevant to those interested in privacy, access and related issues, in a direct, realistic and engaging voice.
Content includes (but is not limited to):
- Links to news releases, discussion papers, reports, newsletters, blog posts, presentations and other approved, publicly available IPC material.
- Links to relevant information produced and published elsewhere, by media outlets, other commissioners, researchers and others. This can include videos, graphics, polls and other posts that are repeated from other social media users (shares or “retweets”).
- Interesting facts, quotes, graphics and videos related to privacy and access.
Social media as a source of official IPC policy
Posts, likes, favourites and shares should not be considered in any way binding or as an authoritative source of law, policy or guidance from the IPC. Further, the decision of the IPC to post or share information should not be taken as an endorsement in all cases. Any expression of the IPC’s official position will be communicated through traditional channels such as official publications (online and off), statements to the media and the IPC’s website, www.ipc.on.ca/.
Social media posts are composed and delivered in both official languages when possible, although links may not always be available in both languages. If a post is meant to highlight a link to content found elsewhere on the web, the message will be sent in the language of the content to which it links. Similarly, a shared message will only be delivered in the language of the original author.
Following / Liking
The IPC’s decision to follow a particular Twitter user or like a particular Facebook page does not imply endorsement of or agreement with any or all of its content. The IPC connects with accounts that it believes may be relevant to its mandate. This could include following the accounts of companies and other commercial enterprises (and/or their employees) who comment on privacy or access issues.
Similarly, the appearance of a user as a follower of an IPC account does not imply endorsement of any kind. The IPC will only take steps to remove or block a follower when that user repeatedly posts offensive or commercial (spam) content.
We commit to updating and monitoring our social media accounts during regular office hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., EST, Monday to Friday. We accept no responsibility for lack of service or response.
Public and Direct Messages
We monitor for mentions, comments and questions in both public and private messages on all platforms and, when possible, will respond to them in their language of origin.
Complaints, Media Requests and Personal Issues
Complaints under Ontario public-sector access and privacy legislation and health privacy legislation will not be accepted through social media channels. Any complaints must be mailed to the IPC using the appropriate complaint form available on the IPC website:
For privacy complaints, please click here.
For access complaints under PHIPA, please click here.
For information on appeals under FIPPA/MFIPPA, please click here.
We encourage you to follow traditional contact channels to make a media request or seek additional information from the IPC. Social media posts directed at or mentioning the IPC that contain comments upon the work or professional duties of individual IPC employees will not be acknowledged.
IPC Staff Personal Social Media Use
Some IPC staff post to social media sites under their own names or pseudonyms. Despite their professional affiliation with the IPC, their posts do not represent the official position of the IPC, and should be considered the product of each individual as a private citizen.
Ongoing Investigations, Reviews or Inquiries
Social media channels will not be used to update the public on the status of ongoing investigations, reviews or inquiries. If you have questions about this policy, please contact email@example.com.
This post is also available in: French