B.C. government seeks public input during review of personal information protection law

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      The collection of personal information by businesses and organization has become increasingly complex in this era of cyberattacks and ransomwaresocial media; new technological developments, such as facial recognition; and various online security issues.

      Since last year, a B.C. parliamentary committee has been reviewing the Personal Information Protection Act, which establishes rules about how private sector organizations manage personal information.

      The committee is comprised of:

      • Mable Elmore, MLA, Vancouver-Kensington (chair);
      • Dan Ashton, MLA, Penticton (deputy chair);
      • Garry Begg, MLA, Surrey-Guildford;
      • Rick Glumac, MLA, Port Moody-Coquitlam;
      • Kelly Greene, MLA, Richmond-Steveston;
      • Adam Olsen, MLA, Saanich North and the Islands;
      • Andrew Wilkinson, MLA, Vancouver-Quilchena.

      Elmore explained in a news release that as other governments are updating their privacy laws, “it is an opportune time for British Columbia to modernize our privacy legislation".

      This law balances the protection of individual privacy and an organization’s need to collect, use, and disclose personal information for providing services and conducting business.

      The act also requires organizations to protect and secure personal information against unauthorized use or disclosure, and allows individuals to access their own personal information. 

      “Businesses are accessing and managing increasing volumes of personal information,” Ashton stated. “The act needs to support businesses in protecting this information and also help them be successful and remain competitive."

      The committee is asking for input from the public.

      Anyone interested in presenting their input to the committee at public hearings to be held on Zoom in June and July must register online by 5 p.m. on June 4, 2021.

      Written, audio, or video submissions must be received through the committee’s consultation portal by 5 p.m. on July 30.

      Full details are available at the committee's website or by calling the parliamentary committee's office at 1-877-428-8337 (toll-free in B.C.) or 250-356-2933.

      The committee must complete its report and make it public by December 8.