Saturday, October 09, 2004

BC Government Employees' Union says amendments won't protect personal information

The BCGEU (who started all the fuss about privacy and outsourcing in BC in the first place) has issued a release saying that the amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (BC) do not go far enough to protect the privacy of British Columbians:

BCGEU: Amendments to privacy laws won't protect our personal data from the FBI:

"The B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) is rejecting the government's claim that amendments to B.C. privacy laws will be sufficient protection for British Columbians if their medical and financial records and other personal information are handed over to U.S.-linked companies.

'The Campbell Liberals can try to build a fortress around our personal data but once it outsources information technology (IT) services to American-linked companies, the FBI can use the USA Patriot Act to knock down any legal, constitutional or electronic walls to get British Columbians' personal information,' said Diane Wood, BCGEU Secretary-Treasurer..."

See, also, my blog entry on the amendments: BC amends public sector privacy law to block access to information is services are outsourced.

UPDATE: The Canadian Union of Public Employees, a federal public sector union, has also come out against the proposed amendments:

B.C. Liberals using FOI amendments to mask privatization agenda, says CUPE Bill 73 pre-empts Privacy Commissioner's report on effects of USA Patriot Act:

"BURNABY, BC, Oct. 8 /CNW/ - Amendments to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIPP) Act are mere window dressing for the provincial government's privatization agenda and do nothing to alleviate British Columbians' concerns about the all-powerful USA Patriot Act, says CUPE BC president Barry O'Neill.

Bill 73, tabled in the legislature yesterday by Management Services Minister Joyce Murray, includes restrictions on public bodies and service providers storing, accessing or disclosing personal information outside Canada.

But amendments to Canadian law cannot protect the privacy of Canadians when U.S. companies are in possession of Canadians' personal information, says O'Neill...."

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