Ontario IPC orders institution to validate authenticity of record

The Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario issued a notable “e-FOI” order on January 19th.

The IPC ordered the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to validate the authenticity of a 911 call recording that it provided to a requester. The Ministry filed an affidavit about how the recording was extracted from the system on which it was recorded and burned to CD. However, when the requester challenged the recording’s authenticity the Ministry provided the requester with a second CD that the requester successfully claimed did not match the first. The IPC ordered the Ministry to re-produce the CD and provide the requester with a sworn statement about the authenticity of the to-be-produced CD after listening to compare it with the original.

The Ministry adduced evidence of its extraction process that was very strong, but its affidavit seemingly did not capture the entire chain of custody – i.e., the first-produced CD was not marked and identified in the affidavit. This can be done relatively easily by using a hash number or even physically marking the disc that’s produced.

Ontario (Community Safety and Correctional Services) (Re), 2012 CanLII 2815 (ON IPC).

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