RTIPPA 101

The New Brunswick Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, RTIPPA encourages transparency and openness for the business and operations of all New Brunswick public bodies. So as a public body, UNB has an obligation to remain compliant with this legislation and provide timely and appropriate access to information while establishing strong protection of privacy practices.

4 Principles of RTIPPA

RTIPPA is built on four fundamental principles:

  1. The public has a right to access information
  2. The protection of personal privacy is paramount
  3. Exceptions are limited, the legislation has an overriding policy of openness
  4. Mechanisms are in place to raise concerns and appeal responses

RTIPPA affects many different people at the University of New Brunswick, including students, faculty, instructors, staff, contract workers, managers and supervisors. Here are a couple of aspects that are affected by RTIPPA that you may want to consider.

 

Collecting and Sharing Information

As a university, UNB may share information between units for business practices and regular operations; however it must be done respectfully and responsibly. All information should be accessed on a need to know basis only. Share with care!


Recording Lectures

Students may NOT record lectures without the permission of the professor/instructor. The AUNBT Collective Agreement, the University Wide Academic Regulations and UNB Policy for the Protection of Personal Privacy all indicate that permission must be sought before a recording device can be used. Ask for permission before recording anything.

Photos

The UNB Photography Management Policy requires notification prior to picture taking in non-public spaces such as classrooms, labs and study rooms. Individuals should be informed photographs are being taken and given the option to remove themselves from the photo. Inform people before taking photos, give them the option to not be a part of it.


Email

Emails pertaining to the business and operations of the University are subject to RTIPPA. The language of correspondence should maintain a professional tone. Use appropriate distribution lists when possible and avoid sending emails to large groups of individuals, if necessary, use the "bcc" to protect individual email addresses. Keeping track of business and operations emails is important because they are records.

 

Notebooks

Personal notebooks recording university business are considered a "University record" and are subject to request under RTIPPA. Notebooks are an important tool for organizing your ideas, action items, or workflow. Do not hesitate to use notebooks but be aware of the legislation and follow the best business practices. Some things like notebooks are records even though it may not be obvious at first glance.

 

Collecting and Protecting Personal Information

To provide services to students, faculty, staff and the general University community we are required to collect and use personal information. Service provisions however, should never be at the expense of personal privacy. No one has the right to see another individual's personal information.

 

Records Identification and Location

Identifying and locating appropriate records is the key to providing RTIPPA responses. The University Secretariat cannot do this without the help of staff and faculty where the RTIPPA request is relevant. The assistance and effort of locating these records is greatly appreciated. Many people work together to identify and locate the proper records for RTIPPA responses.


RTIPPA isn't just about the access of information, the protection of privacy and personal information is the other side of the act and is just as important. But just what is Personal Information & Privacy?