October 17, 2018
USMCA Puts Privacy at Risk
VANCOUVER, October 17, 2018 – The pending free trade agreement between Canada, Mexico, and the United States (USMCA) conflicts with existing provincial legislation around data localization and puts the privacy of British Columbians at risk.
The Freedom of Information and Privacy Association of British Columbia continues to support the data localization provision within BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
The data localization provision, section 30.1 of the act, protects the privacy of British Columbians by mandating that the personal information collected by public bodies must be stored and accessed only in Canada, with some limited exceptions.
“Controlling where personal information flows, and who has access to it, is an essential tool in the ongoing and evolving process of protecting the privacy of British Columbians,” said FIPA executive director, Sara Neuert.
While data localization has been and continues to be an important step in maintaining and enhancing personal information protections that are in accordance with our Canadian values, Article 19.12 of the USMCA prohibits computing facilities from being located in a specific place.
The domestic data storage provision within FIPPA is a matter of political consensus within in British Columbia. We are calling on the provincial government to reaffirm its commitment to section 30.1 of FIPPA in light of the recent USMCA trade agreement.
Sara Neuert, Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
Email: Sara (at) fipa.bc.ca