Patriot Act poses greater risks than province states, says BC’s Information and Privacy Commissioner

Lindsay Kines and Jeff Rud
Times Colonist

The USA Patriot Act poses a greater risk to Canadians’ personal information than earlier stated by the B.C. government, the province’s information and privacy commissioner said Friday.

David Loukidelis praised government for toughening B.C.’s privacy law, but said it needs to go further to prevent the FBI from using the Patriot Act to get its hands on British Columbians’ private medical or pharmaceutical information…

Darrell Evans, executive director of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, called for a moratorium on contracting out government work to U.S.-linked companies until the B.C. and Canadian governments act on all 16 of Loukidelis’s recommendations.

“If all of these recommendations are implemented, it will provide an effective barrier to foreign laws,” he said. “But they’re like a piece and they’d all have to be implemented to be effective. Until then, we just don’t think the extra risk should be taken.”

LIST OF THE COMMISSIONER’S RECOMMENDATIONS, showing which have / have not been implemeted by the BC government

Complete Times-Colonist article

Information and Privacy Commissioner’s news release and report (See “What’s New”):

“Is Government Outsourcing a Threat to Privacy?” — FIPA submission to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC

Privacy Commissioner of Canada News Release:
The Privacy Commissioner commends the BC Information and Privacy Commissioner for furthering public debate on sharing of personal information about Canadians across borders
Right to Privacy Campaign

FIPA and a growing list of other groups– including some municipalities – are seeking to prevent the BC government from contracting out the administration of government services to foreign-owned corporations when it could violate the privacy rights of Canadian citizens.

Campaign website