FIPA and the BC Civil Liberties Association are raising the alarm over amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act introduced yesterday.
“The government has decided on a policy to massively increase the personal information collected, stored and shared with others,” said Micheal Vonn, Policy Director of the BCCLA. “Yet, projects like this, that centralize huge amounts of data, have been discredited the world over. Such personal information banks violate privacy rights, cost billions and often end up a waste of money.”
The two groups were also critical about the lack of amendments to address the dire state of Freedom of Information in British Columbia. BC recently scored last on a national FOI survey conducted by Newspapers Canada.
Vincent Gogolek, Executive Director of FIPA, stated, “While these are the only privacy laws in Canada that specifically enable systems-wide data-linkages of citizens’ information, the government’s enthusiasm for “sharing” dries up when it’s the government’s information. All the current FOI law’s blatant problems are left to stand and the bill merely offers a general encouragement for government to post more information online”.
“Open government is more than just some datasets on a website,” added Gogolek. “We expected more from a Premier who based her leadership campaign on Open Government and transparency.”