Promoting Transparency While Protecting Privacy in Open Government in Canada


  • Amy Conroy Doctoral Student, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Teresa Scassa Canada Research Chair in Information Law, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa



The pressure towards open data and proactive disclosure by government in Canada has created a renewed need to balance the competing values of transparency and privacy. This article addresses issues such as what constitutes personal information and therefore engages privacy concerns, and whether transparency goals are actually met by disclosure in every case. The decision of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) v. Ontario (Information and Privacy Commissioner) addressed these types of issues in the access to information context and so offers some important insights. Finally, this article proposes some guiding principles to assist in striking a balance between transparency and privacy.