Twitter Policy

The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) uses Twitter, a free messaging service offered by an American company, as one tool in its efforts to communicate clearly, quickly and in an interesting manner to Canadians interested in privacy and related issues.

The OPC’s English @PrivacyPrivee and French @PriveePrivacy accounts on Twitter are managed by the public education team on behalf of colleagues across the OPC. New OPC accounts may be created for different needs within the organization.


The content delivered by the OPC on Twitter reflects the values and ethics outlined in the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector and is influenced by the standards, practices and tone set by other Twitter users interested in privacy and related issues. In composing our tweets, we recognize that the OPC is considered an authority on privacy and will be expected to contribute to the online conversation in a considered and thoughtful way.

At the same time, we make an effort to communicate in a direct and realistic voice. Our tweets make an effort to be engaging, informative and sometimes amusing.

Content includes (but is not limited to):

  • Links to news releases, blog posts, speeches, research reports and other approved, publicly available OPC material
  • Links to relevant information produced and published elsewhere (work of other commissioners, advocacy organizations, researchers, news organizations and others). This can include videos, blog posts, and retweets (RTs) from other Twitter users.
  • Interesting facts, quotes, videos or observations related to privacy generated by our Office and others
  • Topical questions related to privacy meant to provoke discussion

On content produced and published by third parties:

Tweets and retweets (RTs) linking to content produced and published elsewhere do not imply endorsement on the part of the OPC. We may tweet or retweet news, links and personal observations we believe are relevant to the work we do in privacy advocacy and research. We are not responsible for the content of information produced and published by third parties.

Twitter is not a source of official policy

Tweets are not the authoritative source of new policy or guidance from the OPC. Any change or evolution in the OPC’s official position on legislation, guidance, investigations and audits will be communicated through more traditional channels: official publications (online and off), speeches, statements to the traditional media and the Office web site. We may, however, use Twitter to draw attention to the OPC’s official position on privacy issues.

Importantly, the OPC’s decision to tweet or retweet is not an endorsement of any position or argument that may vary from the Office’s current official position, nor an indication of a possible shift in the Office’s current official position.

Official Languages

Tweets are composed and delivered in either official language but not all tweets are delivered in both languages. If a tweet is meant to highlight a link to content found elsewhere on the web, the tweet will be sent in the language of the content it links to. Similarly, a RT will only be delivered in the language of the original author.


Twitter is a third-party service provider used by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to communicate with the public. Twitter account holders who use the service are bound by Twitter’s Terms of Service – this includes our Office, and individuals who communicate with our Office via Twitter. We encourage users to read Twitter’s Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, as well as the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies for all social networking services they use.

Information posted publicly on Twitter – whether it is directed at our Office or not – can be read by anyone. Therefore, we strongly advise users not to post personal information – either their own, or the information of others – on Twitter.

Our Office may use information you provide on Twitter – your Twitter name or handle, and the personal opinions contained in your tweets, @Replies and Direct Messages to us – for statistical or analytical purposes. Should you have any questions about your privacy rights as explained in our Twitter Policy, please contact our Chief Privacy Officer, who is also the Director of the Access to Information and Privacy Unit, through our toll-free line at 1-800-282-1376, or by postal mail at:

112 Kent Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 1H3


The OPC’s decision to follow a particular Twitter user does not imply endorsement of any kind. We follow accounts on Twitter we believe are relevant to the mandate of our work – specifically, as it relates to privacy advocacy and research. This could include following the Twitter accounts of companies and other commercial enterprises (and/or their employees) who comment on privacy issues.


Similarly, the appearance of a Twitter user as a follower of an OPC account does not imply endorsement. The OPC will only take steps to remove or block a follower when that follower is obviously a bot (a program used to perform repetitive tasks – like tweeting spam) or consistently tweets offensive material.


We commit to updating and monitoring our Twitter account during regular office hours: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., ET. Like many Twitter users, however, we may (and likely will) monitor and respond at other times of the day. We accept no responsibility for lack of service due to the appearance of the fail whale/Twitter downtime.

@Replies and Direct Messages

We will read all @replies and Direct Messages sent to us and, when possible, will respond to them in their language of origin. Our use of information collected through @Replies and Direct Messages is described in the Privacy section of this Policy, above. We will not disclose the contents of a Direct Message to a third party, unless required to do so by law.

Complaints, Media Requests and Personal Issues

We encourage you to follow traditional channels to make a media request, or seek additional information on an ongoing investigation.

If you believe you have a complaint under either the Privacy Act or the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, you can either submit your complaint to the OPC in writing or online. Additional information on submitting complaints is available here.

Please note: The Office of the Privacy Commissioner does not process complaints via e-mail or Twitter.

Tweets addressed to the OPC which contain comments upon the work or professional duties of individual OPC employees will not be acknowledged.

Other OPC Staff Tweeting

Some OPC staff tweet under their own names or pseudonyms. Despite their professional affiliation with the OPC, their tweets do not represent the official position of the Office, and should be considered the product of each individual as a private citizen.

Ongoing investigations

Twitter will not be used to update the public on the status of ongoing investigations.

If you have questions about this policy, please contact @privacyprivee or