Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) is governed by the provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Legal Aid Services Act, 2020. Both of these laws have provisions limiting how LAO can collect and disclose information, including the personal information collected from legal aid applicants and lawyers.
Legal Aid Ontario collects and uses personal information only as required for business purposes. On each legal aid form that requires personal information, there is a statement setting out the purposes for collection and the authority in law for the collection.
Personal information is not sold to third parties. It is disclosed only as authorized by law. In some cases, disclosure will be permitted because the person from whom the information came has consented to its disclosure. Disclosure may also take place where it is necessary for the performance of the duties of an LAO employee. The LAO board has authorized a limited number of disclosures to third parties which are necessary for LAO to conduct business.
LAO has a detailed policy on privacy and staff are trained in issues of confidentiality and privacy. LAO also has physical, technological and procedural safeguards to prevent unauthorized access to the information LAO holds.
It is important that the personal information LAO has about individuals be correct. If you wish to view or correct your own personal information, you may contact any legal aid area office to do so.
Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, individuals have the right to request access to information which LAO holds. Where a request is denied, a written decision is provided, setting out the reasons for the denial. The requester has a right of appeal to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario.
If you have any questions about privacy, contact the LAO FIPPA Coordinator at:
Legal Aid Ontario
Atrium on Bay
20 Dundas Street West, Suite 730
Toronto ON M5G 2H1
Tel: 416‑979‑1446 or 1‑800‑668‑8258