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The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was established in 1983 following the passage of the Privacy Act, which governs the personal information-handling practices of federal departments and agencies. The duties of the OPC were extended to the private sector when the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) was fully implemented in 2004.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada:
- reports directly to Parliament on issues that touch on the privacy rights of Canadians;
- answers public inquiries and investigates complaints;
- conducts audits of the privacy policies and practices of federal government departments and agencies, as well as private companies, and advises them on their obligations;
- conducts and commissions research,
- may take cases to Federal Court, and
- engages in public education and outreach.