Privacy & Crime Free Living
As part of a “Crime Free Program”, police have been advising non-profit landlords in several parts of Ontario of any occurrences relating to the residential complex. These “occurrences” include phone calls from tenants seeking assistance.
Together with two other legal clinics, ACTO filed a complaint with the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario. We argued that the collection and disclosure of personal information from the police to the landlord was in violation of the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The Commission found that the manner of collection of information violated the Act. The Commission recommended that while the police may continue to share information with the non-profit landlord, it should only do so in specific and limited cases where charges have been laid, or where the incident causes substantial interference. In addition, the Commission instructed the landlord to advise the tenants, in writing, that the program is in place.
ACTO does not agree with this program. It implies that low-income tenants require greater scrutiny than other tenants or homeowners in order to ensure quiet enjoyment for all. In addition, we are concerned that the program will impact on some groups more than others, including those affected by negative stereotypes.
ACTO will continue to monitor the situation and take further action, as necessary, down the road.
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