News Release: Time to reform BC’s privacy laws

BC FIPA recommends key changes to BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA)

VANCOUVER, June 10, 2020 – During the Special Committee’s public consultations to review PIPA, BC Freedom of Information and Privacy (FIPA) presented several key recommendations. 

Details of our presentation found here.

Compared to other provincial and the federal privacy legislation, BC’s PIPA has had no substantive amendments in the last 17 years. Presently, more than ever, personal information is being collected and stored in exponential amounts, subject to advanced analytics, and highly prone to being compromised. Changes to PIPA are needed for two main reasons – citizens expect increased privacy protections and education, and BC’s economy faces a real risk if the province’s privacy protections are inadequate to international data protection standards. 

Our submission proposes several recommendations, many of which have been called for in previous legislative reviews. We are calling for mandatory data breach reporting, algorithmic transparency, as well as an increase in the following: transparency and accountability by organizations, protections during international transfers of personal information, Commissioner’s enforcement powers, and resources for public education campaigns regarding PIPA. We also recognize and urge BC’s leadership in subjecting political parties to PIPA.  

“We are excited for the opportunity to contribute to the reform of a piece of legislation that is increasingly relevant in today’s digital age,” says FIPA’s executive director, Jason Woywada. “This legislative review offers BC the opportunity to regain leadership in its privacy protection laws and amend PIPA to offer its citizens the protections they expect and deserve.”  

We look forward to presenting a comprehensive list of recommendations as part of our written submission to the Special Committee prior to the August deadline. Details on our presentation can be found here.  

Jason Woywada, Executive Director 
BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association 
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