Changes Coming to British Columbia’s Privacy Law

On February 18, 2020, the British Columbia Legislature appointed a special committee to review that province’s Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA“), the private sector privacy law applicable to British Columbia organizations.

PIPA came into effect in January 2004, and pursuant to s. 59, a special committee must review the Act every 6 years and submit a report. The report may include recommended amendments. In a period in which numerous privacy laws, both domestic and international are being revised, the move by the province comes as no surprise.

Also under review in a separate process is the federal private sector legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA“).

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New Guidelines on the Protection of Personal Information Collected by Political Parties

Election season is upon us, with Albertans heading to the polls in a few short weeks and Canadians preparing to vote in the federal election this Fall. To address privacy concerns arising in the electoral context, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (“OPC”) and the Chief Electoral Officer (“CEO”) jointly released new guidance for the treatment of personal information by political parties.  

Background

Political parties have attracted the attention of privacy regulators in part by the revelation of Cambridge Analytica’s manipulation of data to profile and influence voters in the US. Late last year Parliament enacted Bill C-76 the Elections Modernization Act, an amendment to the Canada Elections Act (“CEA”) to require federal political parties to develop privacy policies to protect personal information.

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