Case Report – Denial of access to complainants’ identities upheld

On February 14th, the Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario held that Queen’s University could deny access to records that would reveal the identities of three female complainants whose harassment complaints led the University to issue a trespass notice to an individual who was not a member of the university community. It noted that the requester had engaged in persistent and harassing behaviour towards the complainants, held there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the requester’s motives were not benevolent and applied the exemptions in sections 14(1)(e) and 20 of FIPPA. It further held that disclosure would be presumed to be an unjustified invasion of privacy under 21(3)(b) (which protects information compiled as part of an investigation into a possible violation of law) and that that “absurd result principle” did not justify giving the requester access to e-mails he had sent the University in the course of its investigation.

Queen’s University (Re), 2008 CanLII 5953 (ON I.P.C.).

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