Monday, April 21, 2008

PIPA review released in BC

The Special Committee of the BC Legislature reviewing the Personal Information Protection Act has recently released its report:

April 17, 2008: Special Committee Recommends Changes to Streamline B.C.’s Private-Sector Privacy Law Media Releases Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act 4th Session 38th Parliament Committees


VICTORIA – The Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act submitted its Report to the Legislature this afternoon. The all-party committee was appointed in 2007 by the Legislative Assembly to review the act that regulates the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by private-sector organizations in the province. During the past year, the committee received 39 submissions.

The key findings from the consultations are that the act seems to be working well overall for private-sector organizations operating in British Columbia, while the public is not as aware of the purpose, rules and scope of the act. The act also aligns with the federal and Alberta private-sector privacy laws.

The report, titled Streamlining British Columbia’s Private Sector Privacy Law, was unanimously adopted by all committee members. The report contains 31 recommendations, including:

  • Making private-sector organizations accountable for personal information they transfer for processing outside Canada
  • Requiring organizations to notify affected individuals of privacy breaches in certain circumstances
  • Banning the use of blanket consent forms by provincially regulated financial institutions
  • Revising consent exceptions to better address business practices in the insurance industry
  • Permitting disclosure of personal contact information for health research
  • Retaining the minimal fee for access to personal information
  • Streamlining the complaints process in the province’s privacy laws
  • Strengthening the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s oversight powers

“Keeping personal information private is vitally important,” said committee chair Ron Cantelon, MLA. “We want to enhance safeguards, but at the same time, balance that goal against imposing unnecessary regulations on business, particularly small businesses.”

The members of the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act are:

Ron Cantelon, MLA Nanaimo-Parksville

Harry Lali, MLA Yale-Lillooet

Leonard Krog, MLA Nanaimo

Mary Polak, MLA Langley

John Rustad, MLA Prince George-Omineca

Information about the committee’s work can be found on its website at, or by contacting the committee chair, Ron Cantelon, MLA, or any committee member.

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