This is an insecure web server. Access My Info should only be hosted using HTTPS.

Why is access important?

When we exercise our rights we send a strong signal to those in power: We do not take our freedoms for granted and we won’t stand practices that erode or otherwise threaten them. The right of access to personal information is no exception.

Helps encourage institutions to be better stewards of personal information.

Submitting a request lets institutions know that you are concerned about how your personal data is used. By making requests, the public will place pressure on institutions to adopt policies and procedures prioritize the responsible stewardship of personal information instead of placing it as an afterthought.

When AMI was released in 2014, Canadian telecommunications companies were put under public pressure to disclose information about how the companies disclosed personal information  to law enforcement and other state agencies. The community of people asking for access helped to convince companies that being more transparent about the disclosure of personal information was good, popular policy.

Requests can also spur institutions to improve their internal privacy practices. In responding to the requests, institutions may develop data inventories so that institutions themselves can better understand the varieties of personal data collected across disparate systems. The result may be that institutions actually start collecting less information in the future if they lack a business reason to be collecting it in the first place.

Informs the evolution of privacy regulation

Exercising your right to personal information can provide valuable evidence to policy makers about the law’s effectiveness in the real world. For instance, in 2014 we saw that thousands of AMI users requesting their data overwhelmed Canadian telecommunications companies. Many of these requesters in turn complained to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, which may make recommendations for revised regulation or refined guidance for businesses.

Helps out research

Access my Info is a project developed and operated by privacy researchers based in Toronto. Andrew Hilts and Dr. Christopher Parsons are the project’s principal investigators, with funding from CIRA and support from the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto.

After you’ve gone through the Access My Info process, you’ll be asked if you’d like to share some basic information with the AMI team. Please consider clicking this checkbox and opting-in to sharing information about your request with us (but not your identity): the date of your request, the legal jurisdiction of the request, to whom you issued a request, and the services included in the request.

We’ll also ask if you’d like to sign up for notifications from Access My Info. These notifications will be sent to your email address; 30 days after you signed up you’ll get an email asking whether or not you received a response to your request. It will provide some resources to help you if you haven’t and also ask you to fill out a short survey. After 30 more days, if you haven’t yet filled out the survey, we’ll send you an email with a link to the survey.
Data from your opt-in reporting and survey responses will help our research team better understand how people are using Access My Info and inform our analyses of the state of the right to personal information in Canada. We intend our work to inform both data handling organizations, as well as regulators by helping each set of stakeholders make evidence-based decisions about right to information policies and procedures.

Start your request

This version of Access my Info is supported by

The Citizen Lab

Access My Info was translated by

Option Consommateurs

Questions? contact ami@citizenlab.ca to learn more.

About this project

Access My Info (AMI) is a web application that enables you to find out what a variety of different companies know about you. It guides you via a step-by-step wizard to generate a formal letter that requests access to your personal information. This letter can then be sent via postal mail or email to the respective company’s privacy officer.

For more information

This service does not collect any of the personal information you provide. This information is used only to generate a letter, which is done entirely in your web browser. Other web pages linked to from this service will be governed by different policies. When you load the service, the web server that hosts the service logs a record of that event. These logs include the IP address used to access each resource required for the service, the date & time of access, and several other non-identifying metadata fields.

Disclaimer: This is a research and educational tool and is meant for informational purposes only. This service does not provide legal advice. You are solely responsible for your use of this service and any resulting consequences. The Citizen Lab make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in this document. This software is offered as-is, with no warranty. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the legal advice of competent counsel.

This work is based on Access My Info by the Citizen Lab and Open Effect and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.