Collection, use and disclosure of personal information by the Alberta Utilities Commission

The AUC collects personal information in compliance with section 33(c) of Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP). 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.

When you visit this site, our web server automatically collects a limited amount of standard information essential to the operation and evaluation of the site. This information is not used to identify individuals who come to the site, nor is it disclosed to other public bodies or individuals.

The information that’s collected identifies the following:

  • the page from which you arrived.
  • the date and time of your page request.
  • the IP address your computer is using to receive information.
  • the type and version of your browser.
  • the name and size of the file you request.

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, contributing to our social media site(s), or by registering with us for an AUC proceeding, hearing or consultation using AUC Engage. We do not collect personal information for any general purposes, and we do not collect personal information for commercial marketing. Personal information will not be released to a government agency or third party unless the release is permitted or required by law.

The FOIP Act provides access to information held by public bodies which is not available by other means, and allows individuals to request correction of their own personal information that a public body holds, this is called a FOIP request.

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 AUC’s FOIP policy. The AUC expects employees to comply responsibly with its FOIP policy.

If you have questions or want more information about the AUC’s privacy policy please contact the AUC FOIP coordinator by email at foip@auc.ab.ca or by telephone at 403-592-4376.

Public availability of personal information in AUC hearings or proceedings

The AUC’s policy is that its hearings and proceedings should be open and transparent. The AUC 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. Filings, 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 eFiling System available on our publicly accessible website.

Due to the nature of AUC proceedings your filing 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 filing may be treated in confidence in accordance with Rule 001: Rules of Practice, Section 4. Requests for confidentiality can be made by emailing the AUC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP) coordinator at foip@auc.ab.ca or by calling 403-592-4376. The AUC will require a confidential, un-redacted, version of your filing for its use and the use of others registered in the proceeding. 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. Most AUC hearings are broadcast live on the AUC public website and this broadcast is subsequently publicly available for a certain period of time. In certain circumstances a written transcript of the proceeding may also be publicly available.

Additionally, following a hearing or other proceeding the AUC 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.

Social media

The AUC is an open and transparent agency and we welcome you to share, like and comment on our social media content. It is important to note, however, that though published comments are welcome, they are not considered official submissions and therefore will not be part of the official record or considered part of an official proceeding, nor will they be considered as a formal request for the AUC to initiate action of any kind. To file an official submission, or to participate in a proceeding you must follow the instructions set out by the AUC on our website under Have your say about a utility project or AUC rate review process.

In addition, the AUC respectfully asks that comments made on our social media platforms ​be courteous and respectful. The AUC reserves the right to remove inappropriate comments. Inappropriate comments are comments that the AUC considers to contain obscene, indecent or profane language, threats or defamatory statements, or hateful language directed at a person or group based upon race, colour, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion or disability. If you view something on our social media that may be inappropriate please report it to webmaster@auc.ab.ca. Commenters may be notified that their comments have been deleted.

As an independent quasi-judicial agency we also ask that you refrain from publishing comments on our social media outlets which promote or endorse products, services or partisan political activity.

Utility related concerns cannot be resolved through social media due to privacy concerns and requirements for us to investigate your account. If you are dissatisfied with your utility service provider please consult our resources under Billing issues or concerns.

Participation in AUC Engage consultations

AUC Engage facilitates consultations by allowing registered users who have created an AUC Engage account to provide submissions on a variety of topics.

Submissions provided through AUC Engage are collected by the AUC. The AUC’s use of personal information included in these submissions is in accordance with this privacy policy.

AUC Engage consultations may be public, by invitation only, or private. A public consultation allows any person to view submissions provided by any reg​istered user, including any personal information contained in the submission. Consultations by invitation only allow registered users that have been invited to participate to provide submissions, which can be viewed by any person, whether invited or not, through the AUC Engage website. Private consultations are closed to the public and submissions may only be provided, and viewed by, registered users that are taking part in the private consultation. Following any consultation (public, invitation only, or private) the AUC may prepare a public report containing personal information collected through a consultation.

If you do not want your personal information publicly available, you may contact us to determine how the personal information contained in your submission may be treated in confidence in accordance with AUC Rule 001, Section 4, as described above. Alternatively, you may create an anonymous AUC Engage account so information that would otherwise constitute personal information is no longer identifiable to an individual.

AUC Engage Moderation Policy

About moderation

This website is moderated by AUC employees.

AUC moderators provide support to ensure participants, site administrators, and third parties are safe from malicious, inflammatory and illegal materials.

The AUC’s role in moderation of this site is to ensure that contributions are reviewed and assessed in an impartial manner according to the rules outlined below.

This policy covers the following:

  • username rules
  • username sanctions
  • moderation rules
  • moderation sanctions
  • etiquette
  • frequently asked questions

Username rules

Usernames – which are submitted by participants during the registration process as a way to identify themselves in public facing activities, are approved in accordance with the username rules set out below:

  • Usernames should not be defamatory, obscene or include language which could be deemed offensive. This includes the creative use of characters and symbols to hide explicit content.
  • Users must not masquerade as other members of the public, elected officials, moderators, site administrators or workers from the consulting organization. If you are found to be impersonating someone else you may face sanctions.
  • Usernames must not be a URL or web address.

Username sanctions

If you breach any of the above username rules upon registering for this site, the following will occur:

  • Username change – our moderation team reviews every username submitted to this site via registration. If they deem your username to be in breach of the above rules, they will change your username and inform you this has occurred. You can later change your username to something within the rules via your participant profile.
  • Temporary suspension – a participant who repeatedly and flagrantly changes their username in breach of the above rules may be suspended from access to the website for a period of up to one week. The period will reflect both the severity and consistency of the breach.
  • Permanent blocking – a participant who continues to violate the username rules following reinstatement after a period of suspension may have their access to the website permanently blocked.

Moderation rules

All public facing contributions – that is, contributions that can be seen by other website users are moderated in accordance with the moderation rules set out below:

  • Never post personal information about yourself or another participant. This includes identifying any individual by their real name if they have not already done so or providing personal contact information.
  • Never identify an AUC employee by name.
  • Don’t defame anyone or any organization. A comment is defamatory if it lowers or harms the reputation of a person or organization. If you wish to insult anyone, this is not the place to do it. If you wish to accuse anyone of wrongdoing or incompetence, this is not the place to do it.
  • Don’t post anything that could be considered intolerant of a person’s race, culture, appearance, gender, sexual preference, religion or age.
  • Don’t be obscene and don’t use foul language. Lots of people from different backgrounds participate on this website. We want them to be able to continue to do so from home, work, school, university or wherever they may be. Disguising swear words by deliberately misspelling them doesn’t make them any less offensive.
  • Don’t personally insult or harass other participants. Always focus on the logic of the argument rather than the individuals involved in the argument. Participants are entitled to choose not to enter into debate with you.
  • Don’t post or link to any inappropriate, offensive or illegal material. Don’t post any advertisements.
  • Don’t promote self-harm, suicide, violence or criminal activity of any kind.
  • The use of emoji or images to convey inappropriate meaning consistent with the rules outlined above will also be moderated.
  • Ensure comments seek to address the topic or focus of the engagement activity at hand. Users which intentionally distract from or ignore the discussion topic may have their comments treated as off-topic and removed.

Sanctions

Breaches of the moderation rules will be dealt with as follows:

  • Removal of comment – any comment that, in the view of the moderator, breaches the rules will be removed.
  • Temporary suspension – a participant who repeatedly and flagrantly flouts the moderation rules may be suspended from access to the website for a period of up to one week. The period will reflect both the severity and consistency of the breach.
  • Permanent blocking – a participant who continues to violate the moderation rules following reinstatement after a period of suspension may have their access to the website permanently blocked.
  • Automatic blocking – a participant who posts or links to inappropriate, offensive or illegal material will be immediately blocked from the site.

Etiquette

The following are not enforceable rules, rather they are suggestions about etiquette to help keep the website respectful and constructive:

  • It’s a good idea to read through the information on the site and the other participant comments before getting involved in the discussion yourself.
  • Always respect the views of other participants even if they don’t agree with you.
  • Be constructive. It’s okay to disagree with other forum participants, in fact we encourage debate, just keep the dialogue positive.
  • Always keep things civil. We recognize that this can be difficult sometimes, especially when you are passionate about an issue, but it is important to keep the discussion focused on the issues rather than letting it deteriorate into personal insults.
  • Once you’ve left your comment keep an eye on the project to see what other people have to say.
  • Stay on topic. The projects on this website have been created for a specific purpose. Please stay within the boundaries of the subject matter.
  • Turn off the “CAPS LOCK”. Writing in ALL CAPS is the equivalent of SHOUTING and can cause offence.
  • Don’t bully, harass or threaten other participants. If another participant proffers an opinion that you don’t agree with, you have no right to demand that they support their position with a detailed argument. They do not have to respond to your questions. It is up to each individual to participate as much or as little as they wish.
  • Please respect the moderators. Their job is to keep the forum safe and constructive so that everybody gets to have their fair say.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What happens if my comment is removed?

If you post something to this website, which is removed by our moderators, you will receive a notification via email informing you of the decision. You will be informed as to which of the moderation rules you are in breach of and asked to review and resubmit your contribution.

  1. What if I disagree with a moderation decision?

If you disagree with a moderation decision you are able to get in touch with support by contacting webmaster@auc.ab.ca. While the final moderation decision lies with our moderators, you may indicate to us why you think your contribution should be accepted.

  1. Can a website owner remove my comment just because they don’t like it?

The AUC reserves the right to moderate a contribution if it is felt it is in breach of these moderation rules. In this instance, you will receive a notification via email.

  1. How will I know if I have been blocked from the site?

If you are repeatedly in breach of our moderation rules you may incur sanctions as outlined above. In the instance that you are blocked from the site, you will receive an email notification informing you of your sanctions and the conditions of those sanctions.

  1. What personally identifiable information about me can the moderators access?

The AUC’s moderators have access to the user information provided when registering for the site. Moderators can view a user’s name, username and their organization name.

Security

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.

Cookies

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. 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.