Darrel Evans, executive director of BC FIPA, was in Victoria today to deliver a speech at the BC Library Association Annual Conference on Bill 38, BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).
After extensive consultation and input from organizations like BC FIPA, Bill 38 has turned into a real privacy bill what BC FIPA describes as an “enormous leap for privacy rights.”
However, there are still concerns, especially with regards to the drastic cuts made to the budget of the Information and Privacy Commissioner who will oversee PIPA.
There are also areas that could be improved such as issues like grandfathering, exceptions to consent, reduced rights of employees, limits to access and correction provisions, and the broad exception for the loosely defined “investigative purposes”.
On the whole, BC FIPA believes the legislation to be a very good one. Hopefully, the government will use this constructive criticism to make the bill even better.
Read the full text of the speech (pdf).
Legislation introduced this week by the BC Liberals is an enormous leap for privacy rights, but BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner must have adequate resources to enforce it. The Personal Information Protection Act will require every private-sector organization in British Columbia to institute a privacy code regulating the way they collect, use and disclose the personal information of clients, customers and employees.
Download release here.
Bill 38 is a very good piece of privacy legislation and a breakthrough for privacy rights at the provincial level. BC has shown strong leadership among the provinces in moving forward with a private-sector privacy bill that has real teeth. For this, great credit is due to yourself and also to Chris Norman and Sharon Plater, the officials at the Corporate Privacy and Information Access Branch who have conducted the public consultation process and the development of the legislation.
However, Bill 38 is not flawless. In our news release of May 2, 2003, BC FIPA’s president stated, “We are pleased at how far the bill progressed [during the consultation process]. We’re not saying that the act is perfect, but we give it a high “B” grade.”
FIPA has stated clearly to the government, the media and the public that we support Bill 38 because its merits greatly outweigh its flaws. In endorsing the Bill, we recognize how far the government moved to improve and strengthen it during the consultation process. Nevertheless, we must state that we are in substantial agreement with most of the points the Privacy Commissioner has raised. We urge the government to consider the substance of the Privacy Commissioner’s comments seriously, and if at all possible, make improvements to the Bill in the areas in which he has expressed concern.
Read BC FIPA’s complete comments to the Minister (doc).