What are my rights?

What are my rights?

What are my rights?

In British Columbia, your information and privacy rights are protected by law. Your right to request records and the protection of your personal information is laid out in two pieces of legislation:

  • The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA"), which applies to more than 2,900 public bodies such as ministries, crown corporations, local governments, schools, hospitals, local police forces and governing bodies; and
  • The Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA"), which applies to more than 300,000 private organizations like corporations, non-profit societies, and professional associations.

Your access rights

In B.C., you have the right to request access to records in both the public and private sector.

In the public sector, FIPPA gives you the right to request records that contain your own personal information, as well as records such as reports, audits, and financial information of the public body.

In the private sector, PIPA gives you the right to request access to your own personal information in the custody or control of a private sector organization.

Click here to read more about accessing records.

Your privacy rights

Both FIPPA and PIPA set out the rules public bodies and organizations must follow when handling your personal information, including:

  • Collection:  There are rules that govern who can collect your personal information, how they can collect it, and when and how you must be informed.
  • Use:  You have the right to know how and why your personal information is being used by an organization or a public body. The general rule is that it must only be used for the same purpose for which it was collected.
  • Disclosure:  Releasing or sharing your personal information is only permitted in very particular circumstances and required lawful authority.
  • Protection:  Organizations and public bodies that have collected your personal information must secure it against unauthorized access. You have the right to know who is responsible for protecting your personal information, and who can answer your questions.
  • Correction:  You have the right to ensure that your personal information being used by organizations and public bodies is correct. You also have the right to request a correction.