The Nova Scotia Department of Justice is hosting an information gathering and consulation session about potential amendments to the Nova Scotia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to address concerns raised by the USA Patriot Act. The session is open to companies that operate in the ICT sector in Nova Scotia and provide services to public bodies.
Passed by the United States Congress in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the USA Patriot Act significantly expands law enforcement and intelligence access to personal information. The Act requires companies to provide certain information to law enforcement upon request – in some cases without a warrant or court order – and prohibits the company from telling anyone that the information was requested.
Though this is a US law, these powers would apply to information about Canadians that is being processed in the United States and likely applies to information about Canadians being processed by US companies in Canada.
The British Columbia government has amended its public sector privacy law and the government of Nova Scotia is contemplating doing the same. Amendments to Nova Scotia’s privacy law would affect companies that provide services to Nova Scotia public bodies, including the government, municipalities, hospitals, universities and colleges.
All affected companies are invited to an information session with the Nova Scotia Department of Justice on Friday, March 31, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. in the Commonwealth B Room at the Westin Hotel in Halifax. To expedite arrangements for seating and refreshments, please RSVP by e-mailing Ms. Dominika Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phoning 424-5585 before Tuesday, March 28, 2006.
Note: Updated 20060323 to clarify the intended audience and invitees of the session.