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Protection of Personal Privacy
This component of the FOIP Act has the greatest impact on the daily routines of MHC. Except for very limited circumstances, we may not release any information about an identifiable individual without his or her permission. For example:
- A student's grade on an exam or essay is considered personal information that we may not disclose. Practices like posting marks on the wall, or leaving piles of exam papers available for students to pick up, are not appropriate within FOIP.
- Your recorded opinion about an individual is considered personal information about and belonging to that individual. For example, your written opinion of a colleague does not belong to you, it belongs to the other person. Releasing this information without permission is inappropriate.
- It may help you to equate personal information to cash. When MHC gathers personal data, it is much the same as collecting money to hold in trust. Obviously, it is wrong to spend money held in trust without either informing or obtaining permission from the person to whom the cash belongs. Equally, you may not share information about a person without first informing or gathering permission from that individual.