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Obligations for reporting breaches

September 2020

A short video explaining your obligations for reporting breaches. This video complements our guidelines on mandatory breach requirements.

View transcript

[Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada logo is centred in white on a black screen.]


[A pink rectangle appears. In the far corner of the rectangle, the word “breach” appears in white.]


[A still image appears of a woman in conversation with another person, of whom only a glimpse of the side of their face is visible. The young woman is in the middle of speaking, and has a focused look on her face. The picture darkens, and fades into the background. A green rectangle stretches across the screen, with the words “Obligations for reporting breaches” written on it. Beside the words is a speech bubble with a locked padlock inside. Curved dotted lines stretch around the outside of the speech bubble. Text fades in below the green rectangle.]

Obligations for reporting breaches

What are your obligations for reporting breaches?

Narrator: Next up, what are your obligations for reporting breaches?

[A drawing of megaphone appears with text beside it. The following words appear on the screen and are spoken by the narrator:]

Narrator: You are required to report any breach of security safeguards involving personal information under your control,

[A triangle appears next to the text, below the megaphone. The triangle has an exclamation point inside it.]

Narrator: if it is reasonable to believe that the breach creates a real risk of significant harm to an individual.

[The text disappears, and a drawing of a person slides in.]

Narrator: This applies whether a breach of security safeguards affects one person,

[A long row of people standing side by side stretching off the screen appears beside the first person.]

Narrator: or a thousand.

[The line of people slides down and away, and a drawing of a store slides in from the right. The store has a large picture window, with a small “open” sign in the corner. Beside the window is a narrow door.]

[A locked padlock appears in between the store and the megaphone. The padlock has a target on the front. The padlock breaks in half just below the latch.]

Narrator: As well, you are responsible for reporting breaches of security safeguards,

[A second store beside the first store. A thick white arrow points from the first store to the second one. The second store has a small window and a wide double door.]

Narrator: even if your organization has transferred personal information to a third party for processing. However, since business relationships can be very complex,

[Text appears below the images. A magnifying glass slides up from the bottom, so that the circle of glass is resting over the break in the padlock, highlighting it in yellow. The following words appear on the screen and are spoken by the narrator:]

Narrator: each breach needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

[The stores, megaphone, triangle, padlock, magnifying glass, and text fade out, the following words appear on the screen and are spoken by the narrator:]

Narrator: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada can help you make these determinations.

[Below the text, a drawing of a screen appears.]

Narrator: To start, go to our website,

[An arrow pointer, like that of a computer mouse, hovers in the middle of the screen. Beneath it, text appears, “For businesses.”]

Narrator: and check out our resources under the menu for businesses.

[A speech bubble appears. Inside the speech bubble are the words, “Safeguards and breaches.”

Narrator: See the safeguards and breaches topic.

[The images and text fade out to black.]

[Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada Logo.]

[The website address fades in below the logo, with “priv” underlined in green.]

[Music fades out]

[Fades to black]

Questions? Comments? Contact our Office at 1-800-282-1376.

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