The BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) and the BC (BC FIPA) have written a letter to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of BC (OIPC) in support of adding the BC Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) and the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police (BCAMCP) as public bodies to Schedule 2 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
The BCCLA and BC FIPA have sent a joint letter to the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC regarding media reports that the office of the commissioner will be investigating ICBC’S proposed use of its photo database for the purposes of identifying suspects in the recent Stanley Cup riots.
In our view, it is arguable that the Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act (the “Act”) does not provide for the disclosures of personal information at issue and that the deployment of facial recognition technologies raises critical questions that have yet to be assessed in light of the Act.
In our opinion, the proposed ICBC-police arrangement is an attempted end-run around the purposes of the Act and serves as a dire warning about the privacy threats of government/police “cooperation” especially given the greatly intensified data
centralization underway in every facet of government service from health care to human resources and ever-expanding surveillance and data-mining technologies that can be used to search those systems.
Many citizens have been shocked to discover themselves de facto criminal suspects, their driver license photos transformed into a mug shot database to be searched at the behest of the police. Many ordinary citizens know well that lines are being rossed and critical rights are in danger.
BC FIPA has sent a letter to the Prime Minister regarding the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) to highlight its concerns with the possible implementation of ACTA, such as the impact it could have on the privacy of individuals crossing the border and to urge the government to consult the public before adopting the agreement.
BC FIPA has sent a letter to Senator Nicholas W. Taylor, Chair of the Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources regarding the creation of a quasi-governmental body if Bill C-27 is enacted.
BC FIPA is concerned that this body has significant power over decisions that affect the public, responsibility for enormous spending decisions, and as currently defined would be fundamentally unaccountable to Parliament or to the Canadian public. BC FIPA urges the Committee to propose an amendment to Bill C-27 that would extend the Access to Information Act and the Privacy Act to the Waste Management Organization.
BC FIPA believes that democracy is both degraded and diminished when large sectors of government authority are placed beyond the accountability and openness measures of these Acts.