The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (“IIROC”)) issued a newPolicy Regarding Use and Disclosure of Personal Information in IIROC Disciplinary Proceedings (the “Policy”) on May 1, 2015.

IIROC is an organization which regulates brokers and investment dealers in Canada. As part of its mandate, IIROC conducts disciplinary proceedings which are open to the public. The IIROC website contains Notices of Hearing, Settlement Agreements, and reasons for decisions made by hearing panels. Members of the public may also request documents used in disciplinary proceedings from the Registrar.

The goal of the new Policy is to limit the use and disclosure of personal information, especially the personal information of individuals who are not participating in the disciplinary proceedings. The Policy applies to all documents filed with the hearing coordinator for use in disciplinary proceedings or other documents which will be available to the public such as reasons for decisions. It does not apply to documents that will not be made public such as those between IIROC and respondents to disciplinary proceedings.

The Policy requires participants and adjudicators to limit the use and disclosure of personal information by redacting the following personal information from all documents filed for hearings:

  •  Full names;
  • Social insurance numbers, driver’s licence numbers, passport numbers, licence plate numbers and health card/OHIP numbers;
  • The date of birth (but not the year of birth);
  • The municipal address, including street name, number and postal code (but not city or province);
  •  Telephone numbers;
  • Email addresses;
  • The names of spouses and children.

Adjudicators are also directed to avoid, to the extent possible, from referring to any personal information in their decisions.

IIROC’s revised policy reflects a growing concern about the extent and amount of personal information that is used and disclosed in judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings. The practical obscurity that came with paper files only accessible in one physical location is being displaced by the easy and wide accessibility of electronic information. As a result, courts and disciplinary bodies have begun taking greater steps to limit disclosure of personal information.