Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Critics pan portions of proposed amendments to BC's public sector privacy law

Some critics have come out swinging over the proposed new amendments to BC's public sector privacy law:
Critics say new B.C. privacy laws put data at risk - British Columbia - CBC News


Program would permit sharing amongst ministries

The amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act would make a number of changes.

The province says the proposed legislation would let ministries share information when government programs involve more than one department. It would:

  • Permit use of so-called data linking to combine existing databases, such as for research.
  • Allow the government to create a proposed secure ID that would combine driver's licences and health-care cards.
  • Pave the way to offering more services over the Internet, such as access to health records or voting.
  • It would also require ministries to proactively release more government records, which Premier Christy Clark has already ordered them to do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There has been little in the news in BC on this topic. After almost one year, and a FOI request through, the BC commission, I received my health record representing less than one day of health care in BC. I was astounded to see that several hundred people had been recorded as looking at my health record from this one incident. Virtually all the names appear to be from clerks and hospital administrators. From this I have determined that medical privacy with e-health is a joke in BC. While there appear to be thousands of health related employees with the ability to look up my records, in an instant, I had to wait almost a year to see some of them. Further, I have noticed many errors on my records, such as wrong blood type, wrong birthdays, wrong diagnosis, tests written that never occurred, and places, I was never in. People should be warned to check their records. BC, has a Health Care Directive to hang onto medical records indefinitely. Privacy policy is too cumbersome for the ordinary person to either understand or enable corrections on these permanent government records. For example, after my FOI complaint about the errors on my file, I was only allowed to add an addendum with my version of the corrections. This means the original with the mistakes still exists. I requested a 16 year old file purged, but was not allowed due to the directive to hang onto records indefinitely. For whose interest is my health record retained, not mine, apparently! With this new privacy law, wrong information will continue about a person available to thousands of Government related employees for perpetuity. Why do so few people know about these outrageously anti-democratic privacy laws and policies? Will fair assessments be possible in the event of medical malpractice, prospective employees seeking work with suspicions generated from medical information, or insurance claims, when medical and personal information is available across all the government? In particular, because so much information is recorded unknowingly about people.
Concerned citizen in BC.