News Release: Joint Submission Calling for Reform to BC’s Privacy Laws

BC FIPA and BCCLA recommend key changes to BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

VANCOUVER, August 17, 2020 – BC’s Personal Information and Protection Act (PIPA) is in need of reform. That’s the finding of the BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) and BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in a joint written submission to the Special Legislative Committee.

FIPA previously made an oral presentation to the Special Committee on June 9, 2020. Our joint written submission with the BCCLA builds on the recommendations we had put forward in our oral presentation, along with suggesting new areas for reform. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted our growing reliance on technological platforms, as well as the necessity of increased privacy protections,” says FIPA’s Executive Director, Jason Woywada. “We believe that this review period provides BC with an opportune time to proactively address the shortcomings of PIPA to ensure that we are keeping pace with the rapidly changing local and global privacy protection standards. We hope that our submission will assist the Special Committee in its deliberations for PIPA reform.”

Amongst other things, our joint written submission calls for: greater public education so that individuals are more aware of their privacy rights and for businesses to know their responsibilities; for specificity, clarity, and accessibility in organizations’ privacy policies; enhanced credentials of privacy officers in organizations processing highly sensitive or large-scale personal information; definitions of terms such as “de-identified information,” “anonymized information,” “pseudonymized information,” and “aggregate information”; enhanced privacy and security requirements for de-identified information and information shared between public and private entities; and addressing the legislative gap which enables private entities to exercise public functions while displaying a lack of transparency on how personal information is collected, used, and disclosed. 

We look forward to the Special Committee’s report in early 2021, and following that, government action on those recommendations. Our written submission can be found here

FIPA would like to thank and recognize the following for their continuous support, assistance, and input to this submission:

FIPA: Advisor Dr. Colin Bennett, Board member Nazli Jelveh, Member Samantha Delechantos, Former BC FIPA Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. 

Contributors: BC Civil Liberties Association, BC Government and Service Employees’ Union, Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Contact:
Jason Woywada, Executive Director
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association
(e) jason@fipa.bc.ca | (p) 604-739-9788