Collection of Personal Information

What is collection?

Collection occurs when a public body gathers, acquires, receives or obtains personal information. For example, it includes activities where individuals respond through interviews, questionnaires, surveys, polls, or by completing forms in order to provide information to public bodies.

Direct collection

If the university obtains the personal information directly from the individual that the information is about, then this is called "direct collection". The university generally must collect personal information directly from the individual unless an exception to this rule applies. These exceptions are discussed further under "Indirect Collection".

The FOIPP Act states that no personal information may be collected by or for a public body unless:

A.  the personal information relates directly to and is necessary for an operating program or activity of the public body. The university can only collect personal information that it needs to know for the operating program or activity, and no more. Personal information should not be collected "just in case" it might be helpful in the future; or,

B.  the collection of personal information is expressly authorized by or required under an enactment of Alberta or Canada; or

C.  that information is collected for the purposes of law enforcement.

The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act does not permit collection of personal information "just in case" it may have value in the future, the program may be expanded in the future or someone in the public body may ask for the information at some point in the future.

Indirect Collection

If the university collects information about an individual from a source other than the individual, then this is called indirect collection. The university can only collect personal information about an individual indirectly in certain circumstances. For more information about what these circumstances are, please click here.

Example FOIPP Notification Statement



May 2017

Mailing address:
Ring House 4
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E1

Phone: (780) 492-9419
Fax: (780) 492-6571
E-mail: foipp@ualberta.ca