BC FIPA presented its comments before the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Public Safety on the proposal to create a national identity card.
[A] national ID card would be:
- hugely expensive;
- just as subject to fraud, privacy abuses, and security breaches as current systems of identification; and
- not likely to be more effective in preventing crime than better managed and more secure systems for birth certificates, Social Insurance Numbers, passports, and driver’s licenses.
Canadians have not had an open and thorough debate about the possibility of creating a national identity card, and we believe it would be a serious mistake to proceed in the heat of the moment without such a debate — or more accurately, in the current atmosphere of fear, anger and hysteria which has so unbalanced our neighbour to the south.
Read the full text of the comments (pdf).
FIPA has submitted comments on the federal government’s Lawful Access Consultation Document to the Department of Justice, Industry Canada, and the Solicitor General today. The federal government initiated consultations earlier this year and BC FIPA hosted two workshops on the Lawful Access proposals and received input from over 45 groups and individuals that have helped inform its position.
FIPA disagrees with the government’s views with regards to the level of privacy that should be accorded to emails, with the expansion of police powers to unprecedented levels (rather than simply extending the same level of power to new technologies), with the promotion of new powers despite a lack of evidence of the need or effectiveness of these powers, and with the vagueness of the proposals.
FIPA recommends that electronic communications be held to a high threshold before it can be accessed and that legislation be amended to reflect this threshold, that government put together a well-argued system for privacy protection for private communication that is independent of form of communication, that the government provide the evidence that forms the basis for these proposals, that government present draft legislation based on the comments provided in submissions like this one, and that the government provide the public with an opportunity to comment once it has put together the information requested in these recommendations.
We must be vigilant to ensure that the right to privacy of Canadian citizens is only limited by such measures that are truly required, reasonable, demonstrably justified, effective and proportionate to the ends to be achieved. The proposals in the Consultation Document show clearly that these requirements have not been met.
Read the full submission (pdf).
Ministry of Community, Aboriginal and Women’s Services released a draft of the proposed Community Charter on May 28, 2002. At the time the Minister invited submissions by “all groups and individuals who wish to do so.”
Today FIPA presented its submission to the Minister which is critical of several aspects of the Draft.
[A] declared objective of the Community Charter [is] to provide “strengthened accountability
to citizens.” FIPA applauds this goal, which is shared on every side … However,
while the Charter contains many positive measures, it also contains some that fall short of
the standard of openness that is expected of modern local governments, and a few that pose a
serious threat to the openness and accountability that is the government’s stated aim.
Download the full submission.
BC FIPA has made submission to the Minister of Management Services, the Hon. Sandy Santori, regarding the ongoing process of reform of BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA” or “the Act”).
Our submission comments on the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act, 2002; our recommendations for additional amendments to the Act this fall; and, our suggestions for action on other issues affecting freedom of information and privacy that we hope will be on the agenda this fall.
Read the full submission (pdf).