Collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the Alberta Utilities Commission
The Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) is a quasi-judicial agency of the Alberta government which makes independent decisions in accordance with relevant statutes and regulations.
The Commission is authorized to collect and use certain personal information in compliance with Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which states that “No personal information may be collected by or for a public body unless that information is necessary for an operating program or activity of the public body.”
Personal information collected by the AUC will be used only for the purpose for which it was collected or for a use consistent with that purpose. Personal information will not be released to a third party unless the release is permitted or required by law.
The AUC does not automatically gather any personal information from you, such as email addresses. This information is only obtained if you supply it voluntarily by initiating contact with us or by registering with us for an AUC proceeding. We do not collect personal information for any general purposes, and we do not collect personal information for commercial marketing. We only share the personal information you give us with government departments or agencies if your inquiry relates to that department and the sharing is permitted by law. We do not create individual profiles with the information you provide or give the information to private organizations for them to create profiles.
Public availability of personal information in AUC hearings or proceedings
The Commission’s policy is that its hearings and proceedings should be open and transparent. The Commission therefore places all material it receives in the course of a proceeding on the public record so that all affected parties can have access to it. Submissions, however, are not generally accessible through Internet search engines.
If you submit comments or any other material, in any format (for example, email, fax or regular mail), related to an AUC proceeding, either written or oral, such as a facility hearing or a rate hearing, those comments will be filed in the relevant proceeding and will be available to the public through the AUC’s electronic filing services available on our publicly accessible website.
Due to the nature of AUC proceedings your submission may contain personal information. Personal information may include your name, email address, financial information or health information, for example, or any other personal information you choose to provide.
If you do not want your personal information on the public record, you may contact us to determine how the personal information contained in your submission may be treated in confidence. No formal application under our confidentiality rules is required in relation to such personal information. Requests for confidentiality can be made by emailing the FOIP Coordinator at email@example.com or by calling 403-592-4376.
Where practicable, we will facilitate your participation by redacting any such personal information from your submission prior to placing it on the public record. However, the Commission will require a confidential, un-redacted, version of your submission for its use and or the use of others registered in the proceeding to prepare their cases. You should also be aware that parties to an AUC proceeding are able to challenge requests for confidentiality.
Oral public hearings of the AUC are open to the public and any information filed by you as part of the record, including personal information, may be presented, discussed or challenged in public. This information may also be disclosed by those in attendance to other parties or used by the media. The audio component of most AUC hearings is broadcast live on the AUC public website and this audio record, as well as a written transcript, is also subsequently publicly available for a certain period of time.
Additionally, following a hearing or other proceeding the Commission may publish a decision which refers to any evidence on the public record, or to the parties themselves.
Comments and questions submitted to the AUC
When you submit a comment or question to us, if you choose to provide us with your personal information, for example in an email message to us, we use that information to respond to you and to help us get you the information you have requested. When you submit a comment or send us a question, you may be asked for your name, email address, or other information. This information is only used to process and respond to your question or comment. Unless otherwise indicated, this information is not disclosed by the AUC except to its authorized personnel that need the information in order to respond to you. The information you submit via email is secure once it reaches the AUC server. However, it may not be secure in transit between your computer and the AUC server. If you prefer, you may fax, mail or phone us at the contact numbers and addresses provided on our website.
The AUC computer system employs software programs that monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information or to otherwise cause damage. Except for authorized law enforcement investigations, no attempts are made to identify individual users or their internet usage habits.
Information you may be providing when using the Internet
When you visit the AUC public website, our server automatically collects a limited amount of information essential for the operation and security of our website and the other sites that reside on the server. Some of this information, browser type for example, does not identify who you are, whereas other information, such as your Internet domain name or IP address, may identify you. The extent of personal identification depends, in large part, on the naming standards followed by your Internet service provider. You may wish to check with them to inquire about their policies and practices in this regard.
Also, please note that the AUC uses temporary cookies on our website and certain features of our website may not be available to you if your browser does not allow cookies. A cookie is a small amount of data that is sent to your browser from a web server and is stored on your computer's hard drive. Cookies are small amounts of information that computers collect in their browser history from websites they visit. This information is collected so that the user has a faster and easier internet browsing experience. For example, when you type a URL your computer remembers it and the next time you begin typing that URL it will automatically pop up. Preference and option configurations in your browser determine if and how a cookie will be accepted. You can change those configurations on your computer if you desire. By changing your preferences you can accept all cookies, you can be notified when a cookie is set, or you can reject all cookies. If you reject all cookies and cookies are disabled, you may be required to re-enter your information more often.
Employment-search related information
Whether on our website or through other means of contact, those people seeking employment with the AUC who post a resume or submit other information are required to provide a name, address, phone number, email address and other personal information necessary for the AUC to assess the user's suitability for employment and to contact the user about employment opportunities. The AUC does not sell or otherwise make any of this personal information available for other purposes. Your personal information is not accessible by other users seeking employment. Only AUC personnel involved in the employment selection process will be permitted access to an employment applicant’s personal information.
The AUC’s internal policy with regard to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
The AUC’s policy is to fully comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) and any related legislation. The AUC is committed to proper disclosure in accordance with the Act to ensure transparency of its operations. It is also committed to having an effective system for responding to related requests and is accountable for its administration of the Act. The AUC will, where necessary, provide guidance and training to help employees understand their duties and responsibilities to ensure compliance with any legislation that deals with the collection, use and disclosure of personal information, and with the Commission’s FOIP policy. The AUC expects employees to comply responsibly with its FOIP policy.