Dear Mr. Lawford,
The Assistant Privacy Commissioner, Heather Black, has asked that I respond on her behalf to your November 14, 2003 letter regarding the revised letters of finding in files #6100-0216, and #6100-0217. I must say, at the outset, that this is a highly unusual situation. Upon receipt of the original letters of finding, Bell Canada approached our Office on behalf of its subsidiaries and provided prima facie evidence that some of the facts determined through our investigation were inaccurate. It also advised that it had been prejudiced in its relationships with its regulator, the CRTC, because the findings in the complaint against Mobility had become a matter of public record. Bell indicated that Mobility is subject to the Article 11 restriction discussed in the revised letter of finding, and that it complies fully
with that restriction.
The former Privacy Commissioner made a commitment to Bell that our Office would conduct new investigations to determine if there had indeed been any errors in determining the facts. We decided that there was no need to invite further representations from the parties, since it was uncontested that Mobility is subject to the Article 11 restriction, and since the outcome in the complaint against ExpressVu was the same as in the original finding.
In hindsight, I acknowledge that we should have contacted PIAC to inform it that new letters of finding would be issued. I apologize for the oversight. I am pleased to read from your letter that PIAC was generally pleased with our Office’s approach.
Having set out the circumstances of these particular complaints, I would hasten to add that we do not anticipate having to deal with such an anomalous situation again. In the ordinary course of events, the OPC considers itself functus once a letter of finding has been issued.
Gerald Neary
Director General
Investigations and Inquiries