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Privacy and Your Information: Personal Information and Privacy

Learn about the different laws that govern the privacy of your personal information.

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Privacy and Personal Information Law

In Manitoba, there are four main laws in place to protect your personal information. These laws ensure your rights to access the personal information institutions hold about you, and control the collection, sharing, and handling of your personal information.

Which of these laws applies depends on the type of personal information and the organization that holds it. Each law regulates certain types of information held by specific institutions, organizations, or professionals. These laws also provide for independent review processes to investigate complaints. 

What is Personal Information?

Personal information can be any kind of information about an identifiable individual. Examples of personal information include an individual’s name, address, phone number, email, age, gender, genetic information, and health information. Identifying numbers such as those on a social insurance card, driver’s license, or credit card are also considered personal information.

What is Personal Health Information?

Personal Health Information is any information that relates to an individual’s health or health care history, the provision of health care, payment for health care, as well as any personal information collected for health care purposes.

What are my rights?

Generally speaking, these laws recognize your right to privacy by:

  • allowing right of access to your personal information (subject to certain limited exceptions)
  • allowing the right to request a correction to your own personal information
  • controlling the ways in which your personal information may be collected, used and disclosed, as well as setting out how your information should be protected by organizations

Consult the legislation for more detail, or contact the appropriate office for more information.

Four main laws that protect your personal information

Federal Laws

Privacy Act
  • Known as the Privacy Act
  • Covers personal information held by federal government institutions
Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act
  • Also known as PIPEDA
  • Covers personal information held by private-sector organizations in the couirse of their commercial activities

Provincial Laws

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Also known as FIPPA
  • Covers personal information held by provincial government institutions
The Personal Health Information Act
  • Also known as PHIA
  • Covers personal health information held by trustees (e.g. health professionals, hospitals, clinics, etc.)

How do I request my information?

The process for requesting your information depends on what kind of information you want and which organization holds the information. Some organizations have access request forms posted online. You should contact the organization directly to learn the exact process.

In many cases, there is no cost for making a request and accessing your own personal information. Any fees that may be assessed would be for requests that require considerable time or special processes in order to respond.

Knowing where to send a request  

Flow chart showing who to contact to get your information, described below

If you are looking for personal health information, contact the facility or health care provider where you received care. If you're looking for personal information and your information is held with a privacy business or organization, contact that business or organization and make a request in writing. If it's held by the federal government, send a written request to the appropriate federal institution or fill out an online Access to Information and Privacy form. And if it a provincial government or other local public body hold the information you're seeking, fill our a FIPPA Application for Access form and send it to the government department, agency or local public body.

For more information or to file a complaint


Federal – Privacy Act and PIPEDA


Questions and Complaints

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada
30 Victoria Street
Gatineau, Québec
K1A 1H3

Toll-free: 1-800-282-1376
Phone: 819-994-5444
Fax: 819-994-5424
TTY: 819-994-6591


Provincial – FIPPA and PHIA


Questions about FIPPA

Information and Privacy Policy Secretariat
130 - 200 Vaughan Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 1T5

Phone:    204-945-1252
Toll Free: 1-800-617-3588 (Manitoba)
Fax:        204-948-2008

Questions about PHIA

Legislative Unit
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
300 Carlton Street
Winnipeg MB  R3B 3M9

Phone:   204-788-6612
Fax:        204-945-1020


Manitoba Ombudsman
750 - 500 Portage Avenue (Colony Square)
Winnipeg, MB
R3C 3X1

Toll-free: 1-800-665-0531
Phone:    204-982-9130
Fax:        204-942-7803