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News & Events

This page contains current information about recent news, events and activities of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commisisoner.

Recent news includes items published to 'What's New'.

International co-operation This section contains information about how the B.C. office collaborates with data protection authorities within and outside of Canada on policy and enforcement.

Media room contains links to popular topics, RSS and social media details, and information for media inquiries.

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Recent News

Vancouver Board of Education
Dec 1, 2016
The applicant requested that the Vancouver Board of Education provide all records containing information pertaining to the applicant. The Board disclosed some records while withholding others under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), s. 14 (legal advice) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The adjudicator found that the Board is authorized to refuse to disclose information under s.13 and is required to refuse to disclose the majority of information under s. 22.
Fraser Health Authority
Nov 17, 2016
The applicant requested disclosure of records related to a licensing investigation following an accident at a day care. The public body provided the majority of the records, withholding some information under s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The adjudicator found the Health Authority was required to withhold most of the information on the grounds that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy pursuant to s. 22(1) of FIPPA. A small amount of information was either not personal information or the Health Authority was not required to withhold it pursuant to s. 22.
International data protection authorities call for the adoption of a framework for privacy education
Oct 20, 2016
International data protection authorities have endorsed several resolutions addressing issues such as improving digital education, international enforcement cooperation and developing comparable metrics in relation to data protection and privacy.
Information and Privacy Commissioner calls on B.C. government to improve mobile device management
Oct 18, 2016
Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner Drew McArthur recommends that the B.C. government improve its policies and practices regarding mobile device use by employees, following the release of today’s report, Mobile Device Management in B.C. Government.
Mobile Device Management in B.C. Government
Oct 18, 2016
Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner Drew McArthur recommends that the B.C. government improve its policies and practices regarding mobile device use by employees.
Mobile Devices: Tips for Security & Privacy
Oct 18, 2016
Smartphones and tablets have become the most personal of computers we’ve ever used. They have social media content, location-tagged photos and streams of text messages. This kind of personal information didn’t exist on our laptops and desktop computers. And because we carry our mobile devices everywhere, the information on them is at greater risk of loss and theft. Here are 15 tips to help you protect your devices.
Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report about the use of mobile devices in B.C. government
Oct 17, 2016
On Tuesday, October 18, Drew McArthur, Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C., will release Investigation Report F16-03: Mobile Device Management in B.C. Government. The report reviews whether government has an effective privacy management program for mobile devices. Five ministries were selected for the examination, based on the number of devices in use and the sensitivity of information collected and stored.
Global privacy guardians examine privacy risks of the Internet of Things
Sep 22, 2016
Results of the fourth annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) privacy sweep show that the privacy policies of networked devices fail to fully inform users about what happens to their personal information.
Ministry of Finance
Sep 21, 2016
An applicant requested records related to the discovery of asbestos at a building where he had worked for a time. The Ministry disclosed the records with the exception of a small amount of information related to other employees, which it withheld under s. 22(1) (harm to third-party privacy). The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) applied to this information and ordered the Ministry to withhold it.
City of Vancouver
Sep 21, 2016
An applicant requested records regarding the City of Vancouver Bid Committee, which makes decisions about the City’s procurement of goods and services. The City identified reports that were prepared by City staff for the Bid Committee. It disclosed portions of these reports but withheld some information under ss. 13 and 15 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the City is authorized to refuse to disclose the majority of the information withheld under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and all of the information withheld under s. 15 (disclosure harmful to law enforcement).
BC Coroners Service
Sep 21, 2016
An applicant requested access to records of communications between a named physician and the BC Coroners Service (“BCCS”). The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) (harm to third-party privacy) applied to the withheld information, as it consisted of personal opinions of or about the physician. The adjudicator ordered BCCS to withhold the information.
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink)
Sep 21, 2016
A reporter requested access to “Project Work Defect” notices related to Translink’s Compass Card project in Metro Vancouver. The adjudicator found that s. 25(1)(b) did not apply to the information in the notices. The adjudicator also found that s. 21(1) did not apply to the notices and ordered TransLink to disclose them to the reporter.
New Westminster Police Service
Sep 14, 2016
The New Westminster Police Service investigated the applicant for a potential criminal offence. The applicant sought a memorandum prepared by Crown counsel regarding its decision to decline to lay charges against the applicant. The New Westminster Police Service withheld the memorandum in its entirety pursuant to s. 15(1)(g) (exercise of prosecutorial discretion). The adjudicator confirmed New Westminster Police Service’s decision.
Ministry of Advanced Education
Aug 26, 2016
A third party requested a review of three decisions made by the Ministry of Advanced Education to disclose information related to advertising work the third party did for the Ministry. The third party argued that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm its business interests and the business interests of several other third parties.The adjudicator confirmed the Ministry’s decision that s. 21 did not apply to the information, and ordered the Ministry to disclose it to the applicant.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Aug 26, 2016
The Provincial Health Services Authority retained a law firm to conduct a workplace investigation. The applicant requested a copy of the report the investigating lawyer produced. The public body withheld two responsive reports pursuant to ss. 14 (solicitor client privilege) and 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The applicant argued ss. 14 and 22 did not apply, and that disclosure of the reports was in the public interest pursuant to s. 25. The adjudicator determined that the reports were privileged and the public body was authorized to withhold them under s. 14 and further held that section 25 was of no application in this case. Given the adjudicator’s finding that the public body was authorized to withhold the records under s. 14, she declined to consider the application of s. 22.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Jul 22, 2016
An applicant requested records from the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia about a multi-car accident involving 18 vehicles. The applicant was the driver of one of the vehicles. ICBC withheld information in responsive records under ss. 13, 14, 17 and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that ss. 13 or 22 applied to most of the withheld information, and that s. 14 applied to a few records. The adjudicator determined that s. 17 did not apply. ICBC was ordered to disclose the remaining information to the applicant.
Law Society of British Columbia
Jul 21, 2016
An applicant requested records from the Law Society of British Columbia about legal services he believes a law firm provided to a lawyer in relation to the lawyer’s evidence in an estate litigation matter. The applicant believes the law firm was retained by the Law Society’s insurance department in relation to the lawyer’s professional liability insurance coverage. The Law Society requested that the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not hold an inquiry on the basis that it is plain and obvious that the Law Society is authorized to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of records that are responsive to the applicant’s request (s. 8(2)(b)). The adjudicator determined that it is not plain and obvious that s. 8(2)(b) applies. Therefore, the adjudicator dismissed the Law Society’s s. 56 application.
BC Emergency Health Services
Jul 18, 2016
An applicant requested a 911 transcript relating to a bicycle accident in which she was seriously injured. BC Emergency Health Services disclosed most of the transcript, but it withheld information that revealed the identity of the 911 caller under s. 22 of FIPPA (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The 911 caller was the other cyclist involved in the accident. After stating that s. 22 ordinarily applies to the identities of 911 callers, the adjudicator determined that s. 22 does not apply in this case. The adjudicator ordered BCEHS to disclose the withheld information to the applicant.
City of Burnaby
Jul 14, 2016
The applicant asked the City of Burnaby for a list of all legal fees and costs it incurred regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline since January 1, 2013. Burnaby refused to disclose the requested information on the grounds that it was subject to solicitor client privilege, so s. 14 of FIPPA applied. The adjudicator confirmed Burnaby’s decision.
Ministry of Finance
Jul 13, 2016
A journalist requested information about active grievances filed by employees of the Ministry of Health under the collective agreement governing their workplace. The Public Service Agency, which is part of the Ministry of Finance, responded to his request. The Ministry disclosed the number of active grievances for the requested period, but it refused to disclose any other information on the basis that to do so would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The information in dispute was contained in a table. The adjudicator determined that the majority of the information in the table would identify the grievors, so it was their personal information and disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of their personal privacy under s. 22. However, severing under s. 4(2) was possible, and the Ministry was ordered to disclose specific information that would not permit identification of the grievors.
City of Penticton
Jul 13, 2016
A journalist requested access to an invoice for legal services that was submitted by a law firm to the City of Penticton. Penticton refused to disclose the requested information under s. 14 of FIPPA on the grounds that it was subject to solicitor client privilege. The adjudicator confirmed Penticton’s decision.
Possible postal disruption
Jul 6, 2016
On June 27, 2016, Canada Post published a Public Advisory regarding a potential work disruption. In this event, Canada Post will not operate. Mail and parcels will not be delivered, and no new items will be accepted by Canada Post. The OIPC can be reached during a disruption through the contact information noted here.
Clearly in the public interest: The disclosure of information related to water quality in Spallumcheen
Jun 29, 2016
This investigation report was issued in response to a complaint from the University of Victoria‘s Environmental Law Centre (ELC). The complaint alleged that the Ministry of Environment had failed to meet its obligation under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) in relation to access to information requests made by the ELC, and that the Ministry had failed to disclose information in the public interest, as required by FIPPA.
Ministry of Environment ordered to release soil test results from the Hullcar aquifer
Jun 29, 2016
In an investigation report released today, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham ordered the Ministry of Environment to disclose soil test results and other associated documents related to the contaminated Hullcar aquifer in Spallumcheen.
Minister of Finance Mike de Jong announces the appointment of Drew McArthur as Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.
Jun 29, 2016
Minister of Finance Mike de Jong has announced the appointment of Drew McArthur as Acting Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C., effective July 6, 2016.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report about proactive disclosure of information related to the Hullcar aquifer
Jun 28, 2016
On Wednesday, June 29, at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report entitled Clearly in the public interest: An investigation into the disclosure of information related to water quality in Spallumcheen.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Jun 27, 2016
The applicant requested records related to Ministry permits for work on a road on the Sunshine Coast. The Ministry disclosed the requested records to the applicant, but it withheld some information under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The adjudicator confirmed the Ministry’s decision.
City of Grand Forks
Jun 27, 2016
The applicant requested access to information in a contract between the City of Grand Forks and Neptune Technology Group (Canada) Ltd. regarding a residential water metering system. The City refused to give the applicant access to the requested information on the basis that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm Neptune’s business interests under s. 21(1). The adjudicator found that s. 21 did not apply to the information in dispute and ordered the City to disclose it to the applicant.
City of Richmond
Jun 27, 2016
The applicant asked the City of Richmond for records relating to complaints made about him. The City withheld some of the requested information on the basis that it revealed policy advice or recommendations under s. 13, that it was privileged under s. 14, that disclosure of the information would be harmful to law enforcement under s. 15, that disclosure would be harmful to individual or public safety under s. 19, and that disclosure would be harmful to the personal privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the City was authorized to refuse access to the information at issue under ss. 13 and 14, but not under s. 15 or 19. He found that the City was authorized or required to refuse access to some but not all of the information at issue under s. 22.
Improvements recommended in City of Vancouver’s freedom of information program
Jun 23, 2016
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is recommending the City of Vancouver correct policy and process weaknesses in the handling of freedom of information requests following the release of today’s report, Audit & Compliance Report F16-01: City of Vancouver Duty to Assist.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release report about the City of Vancouver’s FOI program
Jun 22, 2016
On Thursday, June 23, at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a report entitled Audit & Compliance Report F16-01: City of Vancouver Duty to Assist.
University of Victoria students contribute blogs about privacy and surveillance
Jun 20, 2016
Beginning Monday, June 20, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner will launch a summer series of blog posts from University of Victoria political science students. “I visited their class several months ago and was impressed with their level of engagement about privacy issues,” said B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham. “I invited them to share their thoughts and research on my Office’s blog.”
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding improper access of health records
Jun 14, 2016
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement about a privacy breach involving the improper access of health records:
Ministry of Finance
Jun 13, 2016
The applicant made a request for records to the Ministry. Approximately seven months later, the Ministry still had not provided the applicant with a response. The Ministry was found not to have fulfilled its duties under ss. 6(1) and 7 of FIPPA and was ordered to provide the response by June 24, 2016.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding proactive disclosure of current access requests
Jun 8, 2016
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to the announcement that government will be proactively disclosing lists of current access requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA):
Independent Investigations Office
Jun 8, 2016
The applicant requested records relating to his employment with the IIO. The IIO withheld records and information under s. 3(1)(c) (outside scope of Act), s. 13 (policy advice and recommendations), s. 14 (solicitor client privilege), s. 15 (harm to law enforcement), s. 16(1)(b) (harm to intergovernmental relations), and s. 22 (harm to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator confirmed the IIO’s decision regarding ss. 3(1)(c), 13, 14, 16(1)(b) and 22. The adjudicator determined that the IIO was not authorized to refuse the applicant access to information under s. 15 and required it give the applicant access to that information (subject only to information that it was authorized to refuse to disclose under the other exceptions).
Speech at the Freedom of Information & Privacy Law Professional Development Conference
Jun 2, 2016
Thank you very much. Hello, everyone. I must admit that I am feeling wistful today, because this is my last formal speech before my term ends July 6th. It feels to me like the end of an era! It’s fitting, though –– because the CBA was the first group I spoke to when I started this gig back in 2010.
Privacy decisions must be made carefully
May 26, 2016
I welcome the opportunity to comment on the TC editorial of May 22, 2016 titled ‘Clarify rules around privacy’. I think this is a very important conversation to have and there is a need to clarify what the ‘rules’ permit. While I cannot comment on the cases referenced, I can deal with the principles involved, the various complex situations caregivers face, and appropriate approaches.
BC Pavilion Corporation
May 25, 2016
A journalist requested the contract between the NHL and PavCo for hosting the 2014 Heritage Classic hockey game. PavCo disclosed most of the contract, withholding some information under s. 17(1) (harm to financial interests of public body) and s. 21(1) (harm to third-party business interests). The adjudicator found that neither section applied and ordered PavCo to disclose the information in dispute to the journalist.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
May 19, 2016
The applicant asked the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for records relating to an avalanche program. The Ministry withheld some of the information on the basis that it revealed policy advice or recommendations under s. 13, that the information was privileged under s. 14, and that its disclosure would be harmful to the government’s financial or economic interests under s. 17 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the Ministry was authorized to refuse access to information under ss. 13 and 14, but not under s. 17.
BC Securities Commission
May 17, 2016
The applicant requested copies of his text messages the BC Securities Commission obtained during the course of its investigation of the applicant and others. The adjudicator confirmed BC Securities Commission’s decision to refuse the applicant access to the records under s. 15(1)(a) on the basis that disclosure would harm a law enforcement matter.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding recommended changes to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
May 12, 2016
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to the final report of the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), B.C.’s public sector privacy and access to information legislation
Speech to the International Association of Privacy Professionals
May 12, 2016
Speech to the International Association of Privacy Professionals
Speech to the Big Data Surveillance Plenary Research Workshop
May 12, 2016
Speech to the Big Data Surveillance Plenary Research Workshop
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding access to information reforms within government
May 10, 2016
Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, released the following statement in response to directives Minister of Finance and Government House leader, and the Minister responsible for the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Michael de Jong announced yesterday regarding access to information reform:
Commissioner Denham receives PACC Fellowship Award
May 5, 2016
The Privacy and Access Council of Canada (PACC) has announced that Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is a recipient of the 2016 PACC Fellowship Award, which recognizes industry leaders who have made significant contributions to information and access-to-information in Canada.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency
May 3, 2016
The Private Career Training Institutions Agency (“PCTIA”) sought authorization to disregard certain outstanding and future access requests made by the respondent. The adjudicator found that some of the outstanding requests are frivolous or vexatious under s. 43(b) and PCTIA is authorized to disregard them. PCTIA is also authorized to disregard the respondents’ future access requests, in excess of one open access request at a time, for a period of two years.
Envelopes not properly sealed in organization mailing
Apr 29, 2016
An organization contacted us to report it had mailed a membership newsletter containing name, address and membership number in envelopes that were not properly sealed.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Apr 25, 2016
In a court-ordered reconsideration of Order F14-20, the adjudicator found that s. 12(1) applies to the withheld information on the tolling framework for the Port Mann Bridge. The adjudicator ordered the Ministry to withhold this information.
Superintendent of Real Estate
Apr 25, 2016
The adjudicator found that the public body was authorized to refuse access to the identity of a complainant, as its disclosure could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a confidential source of law enforcement information under s. 15(1)(d).
Accountability: building trust & credibility for businesses, citizens and regulators
Apr 25, 2016
It’s a pleasure to be here -- among old friends and new -- to talk about accountability in my capacity as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Canada. Over the next 15 minutes, I’ll describe accountability and how it’s being applied in Canada. I’ll also speak to accountability’s influence on privacy and data protection in Europe. Finally, I’ll address what the
Community Living BC
Apr 19, 2016
The applicant, a former service provider for Community Living BC (“CLBC”), asked for records in which he was identified, many of which related to concerns about clients’ quality of care. CLBC withheld some of the requested information as policy advice or recommendations under s. 13(1), and because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that CLBC was authorized or required to withhold the information on these grounds.
Ministry of Health
Apr 19, 2016
The applicant, a health care practitioner whose billings were audited by the Ministry of Health, requested records relating to a hearing that he had. The Ministry withheld the records on the basis that they were privileged under s. 14 of FIPPA. With one exception, the adjudicator found that the Ministry was authorized to refuse access to the information.
Vancouver Police Department
Apr 19, 2016
The applicant requested witness statements, interview summaries and transcripts from the Vancouver Police Department (“VPD”) under FIPPA. The VPD withheld all of the records. The adjudicator found that the VPD was authorized to refuse access, on the basis that the records revealed information relating to or used in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion under s. 15(1)(g) of FIPPA.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Mar 31, 2016
The BC Shorthand Reporters Association (“BCSRA”) requested access to the service agreement for court reporting services between ICBC and Premiere Verbatim Reporting (“PVR”). PVR objected to disclosure of pricing information in the agreement, on the grounds that disclosure could harm its business interests under s. 21(1). The adjudicator found that the pricing information was PVR’s financial information, but that it had not been “supplied” to ICBC for the purposes of s. 21(1)(b). It was therefore not necessary to consider whether the pricing information had been supplied “in confidence” under s. 21(1)(b), nor whether its disclosure could harm PVR’s business interests under s. 21(1)(c). The adjudicator ordered ICBC to disclose the pricing information to BCSRA.
City of Vancouver
Mar 31, 2016
Two journalists requested access to the final agreement between the City of Vancouver and Aquilini Investment Group regarding the sale of units in the Olympic Village. The City proposed to disclose most of the agreements. The third parties, Aquilini and Millennium Group, objected to disclosure of much of the information on the grounds that it could reasonably be expected to harm their business interests under s. 21(1) or third-party personal privacy under s. 22(1). The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) applied to a small amount of information and that s. 21(1) did not apply at all. The adjudicator ordered the City to disclose the agreement, except for some personal information of tenants of the Village.
British Columbia Pavilion Corporation and Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Mar 31, 2016
A journalist requested copies of Treasury Board submissions related to funding BC Place renovations. The adjudicator found that s. 12(1) (Cabinet confidences) applied to most of the information in dispute and that s. 22(1) (harm to personal privacy) applied to the rest. The adjudicator ordered the public bodies to withhold the information under these sections.
Letter to Minister de Jong re: Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C.
Mar 22, 2016
I am writing to inform you, as Minister responsible for the legislation for which I have oversight, that at the end of my current term as Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia I will be moving to a new position, and will not be seeking re-appointment. My term ends July 6, 2016.
Speech to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Mar 16, 2016
This is my third appearance. During my first presentation, I provided a general overview of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and explained how it works. The second time I appeared before you, I offered more of a deep dive into our formal submission. Today, I am here at your request to comment on the David Loukidelis report, commissioned by government, which addressed how government could implement the recommendations arising from my “Access Denied” investigation report.
OIPC Response to Stakeholder Recommendations to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Mar 16, 2016
The work of the Special Committee, appointed on May 27, 2015, to conduct the 40th Parliament’s statutory review of the Freedom of Information and Protection ofPrivacyAct(”FIPPA”), has generated intense interest and engagement. For more than two decades, FIPPA has been the foundation of the right to access to information and the protection of privacy in British Columbia. This review presents a timely opportunity to carefully examine the Act and consider how it can be improved to make government more accountable and better protect personal privacy.
Ministry of Health
Mar 15, 2016
An applicant requested a memo about a medical residency program for international medical graduates. The Ministry of Health disclosed some information, but it withheld other information on the basis that it was exempt from disclosure under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and s. 14 (legal advice) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that ss. 13 applies to some of the withheld information, and that s. 14 applies to the balance of the withheld information.
Ministry of Justice
Mar 15, 2016
A former Independent Investigations Office employee requested a report that a labour relations consultant prepared for the Deputy Attorney General in relation to a complaint the applicant made against his former employer. The Ministry of Justice withheld the report under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 22 of FIPPA applies to the report, so the Ministry is required to refuse to disclose it to the applicant.
Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Mar 15, 2016
A journalist asked the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner for records related to a named police psychologist. The OPCC withheld some records on the basis that they are outside of the scope of FIPPA due to s. 182 of the Police Act and/or s. 3(1)(c) of FIPPA. It disclosed portions of the remaining records, but it withheld some information in them on the basis that it is exempt from disclosure under FIPPA. At inquiry, the OPCC withdrew its reliance on the exemptions to disclosure under FIPPA, and the adjudicator ordered the OPCC to disclose this withheld information to the applicant. For the records withheld as outside of the scope of FIPPA, the adjudicator confirmed the OPCC’s decision that these records are outside of the scope of FIPPA because they fall within the meaning of s. 3(1)(c) of FIPPA.
District of Oak Bay
Mar 15, 2016
An applicant requested records related to a District of Oak Bay development variance permit he was granted in 2009 regarding his residence, as well as records related to bylaw enforcement matters involving him. Oak Bay disclosed nearly all of the information in the responsive records, but it withheld the identities of neighbours who opposed the applicant’s development variance application. The adjudicator determined that Oak Bay is required to refuse to disclose this information because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA.
District of West Vancouver
Mar 15, 2016
An applicant requested that the District of West Vancouver provide all records two arbitrators generated regarding the applicant’s harassment complaint against the West Vancouver Police Department. The District responded that the records were not in its custody or under its control within the meaning of ss. 3(1) or 4(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the records are not in the custody or under the control of the District within the meaning of s. 3(1) of FIPPA, so they are outside of the scope of FIPPA.
A cautionary tale for sending group emails: when in doubt, mask addresses
Mar 9, 2016
A strata unit owner who got an email bulletin from the property management company regarding an alarm procedure complained to us that the company had used and disclosed their e-mail address without their consent. The problem arose because the email showed the addresses of each recipient. The owner had provided their email address for the purpose of receiving strata bulletins to owners, but told us they did so with the expectation that their personal information (in this case their email address) would be kept confidential.
Ministry of Energy and Mines
Mar 3, 2016
The applicant requested access to records related to the Ministry of Energy and Mines’ investigation of a workplace fatality. An inquiry commenced into the Ministry’s decision to refuse to disclose some information to the applicant. During the course of the inquiry, the applicant revealed that he already had the information in dispute. As a result, the Ministry requested that the OIPC exercise its discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not hold the inquiry because the issues are moot. The adjudicator determined that the matter of the Ministry’s refusal to disclose the information in dispute was moot and no factors warranted continuing the inquiry. The inquiry was cancelled.
Ministry of Justice
Feb 26, 2016
An applicant requested records concerning meetings between the Ministry and various stakeholders in regards to the purchase or lease of certain properties in the Tofino area. The Ministry disclosed some records, but withheld some information under s. 12(1) (cabinet confidences) and s. 14 (solicitor client privilege) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). The adjudicator found that some information must be withheld under s. 12(1) and other information may be withheld under s. 14.
Ministry of Justice
Feb 26, 2016
The applicant requested access to Ministry records that mention a specific British Columbia Supreme Court decision involving the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles. The Ministry refused the applicant access to the requested information on the basis that it was protected by solicitor client privilege, so s. 14 of FIPPA applies. The adjudicator found that the information met the criteria for legal advice privilege and the Ministry was authorized to refuse to disclose it under s. 14 of FIPPA.
Elections BC
Feb 22, 2016
The applicant requested records related to the delegation of the Chief Electoral Officer’s powers and duties under the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act. He also requested all memorandums of understanding between the Chief Electoral Officer or Elections BC and any other organization, agency or body. Elections BC refused to disclose the requested records under s. 3(1)(c) of FIPPA (records outside the scope of Act). The adjudicator determined that s. 3(1)(c) applied to an event plan and three memoranda of understanding, but not to job descriptions and a delegation matrix. Elections BC was ordered to respond to the applicant’s request under Part 2 of FIPPA with respect to the job descriptions and the delegation matrix.
Children's personal information goes missing with lost backpack
Feb 18, 2016
A child-care organization lost a backpack containing emergency permission forms for 20 children. The forms contained personal information for each child, including name, address, parent/guardian name and work phone number, dentist, doctor, medical condition, allergies and Personal Health Number.
Canadian Union of Public Employees (British Columbia Regional Office)
Feb 18, 2016
The applicant made a request for access to her own personal information in the control of CUPE’s BC Regional Office. CUPE disclosed some of the applicant’s personal information to her, but withheld other information on the basis that the information was protected by solicitor client privilege, so s. 23(3)(a) of PIPA applied. The adjudicator found that CUPE was authorized by s. 23(3)(a) of PIPA to refuse to disclose the information because it is protected by solicitor client privilege.
Ministry of Health
Feb 15, 2016
The applicant requested a research data access report and associated background information. The Ministry disclosed some information but it withheld other information under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), s. 14 (solicitor client privilege) and s. 22 (harm to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The applicant argued that this information should be disclosed under s. 25(1) (public interest). The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was not required to disclose the requested information under s. 25(1). Further, the adjudicator found that the Ministry was authorized to refuse to disclose the information it withheld under s. 14. The adjudicator determined that disclosure of the personal information in dispute would not be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy under s. 22(1), so the Ministry was ordered to provide this information to the applicant.
Capital Regional District
Feb 12, 2016
An applicant requested a 2009 Capital Regional District staff report recommending that Stantec Consulting Ltd. be approved as the program management consultant regarding the development of a wastewater treatment plant in Greater Victoria. The CRD disclosed most of the report, but it withheld a small amount of information under s. 17 (disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body) and s. 21 (disclosure harmful to the business interests of a third party) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that ss. 17 and 21 do not apply to this information, and ordered the CRD to disclose it to the applicant.
Misdirected T4 slip causes major headaches
Feb 10, 2016
An organization mistakenly mailed an employee’s T4 slip (containing the employee’s name, address, social insurance number, employment income and related information) to a former employee, resulting in a privacy breach (an unauthorized disclosure of personal information).
Weathering the Perfect Storm in the Digital Age
Feb 5, 2016
Opening address at the 17th Annual Privacy and Security Conference in Victoria, BC
Washing machine purchase leads to unexpected offer of realtor services
Feb 2, 2016
A family purchased a washing machine at a local outlet of a national department store chain. Several months later, they received a letter from the sales associate who had sold them the washing machine, letting them know that she was leaving the store and was about to embark on a new career as a real estate agent. She invited the family to contact her for any real estate needs they might have.
New training programs for municipalities to highlight Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Feb 1, 2016
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia will partner with two privacy consulting firms to deliver full-day Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (“FIPPA”) workshops for staff and elected officials of B.C. municipalities.
Ministry of Education
Jan 28, 2016
This report details the circumstances surrounding the loss of a portable hard drive by the Ministry of Education containing the personal information of 3.4 million BC and Yukon students and teachers.
Ministry of Education failed to protect personal information involving missing portable hard drive
Jan 28, 2016
In an investigation report released today, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham found that the Ministry of Education failed to protect the personal information of 3.4 million B.C. and Yukon students stored on a portable hard drive.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report about Ministry of Education portable hard drive breach
Jan 27, 2016
On Thursday, Jan. 28 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report that examines whether the Ministry of Education took reasonable measures to secure a portable hard drive containing the personal information of 3.4 million B.C. and Yukon children and B.C teachers.
BC Pavilion Corporation
Jan 27, 2016
A journalist requested access to reports on the number of attendees at Whitecaps and BC Lions games. PavCo denied access to the responsive record under s. 17(1) (harm to financial interests of public body) and s. 21(1) (harm to third party’s business interests). The adjudicator found that neither exception applied and ordered PavCo to disclose the record to the journalist.
City of Nanaimo
Jan 27, 2016
The applicant asked for any records with his name on them. The City disclosed some records, withholding information under ss. 12(3)(b) (local public body confidences), 16(1)(b) (information received in confidence) and 22(1) (harm to third-party privacy). The Adjudicator found that all three exceptions applied.
Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation
Jan 27, 2016
The applicant requested records related to meetings between provincial ministries, a resort and a First Nation regarding a specific property. The Ministry withheld some information under ss. 12(1), 13(1) and 19(1)(a). The adjudicator found that s. 13(1) applies to some information. The adjudicator also found that s. 19(1)(a) does not apply to some information and ordered the Ministry to disclose this information to the applicant. It was not necessary to consider s. 12(1).
Information Commissioners call on governments to create a duty to document
Jan 25, 2016
Canada’s Information Commissioners have called on their respective governments to create a legislated duty requiring public entities to document matters related to their deliberations, actions and decisions.
Access and privacy regulators call on governments to respect rights in information sharing initiatives
Jan 25, 2016
Canada’s Information and Privacy Commissioners and Ombudspersons have called on all levels of government to protect and promote privacy and access to information rights when embarking on information sharing initiatives aimed at improving government services.
Sharing information for debt collection purposes
Jan 20, 2016
An individual received a ticket for allegedly parking illegally in a private parking lot. Recorded on the ticket was the individual’s licence plate number. When the ticket was not paid, the company contacted the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), provided the individual’s licence plate number, and received in return the person’s name and address, which it then forwarded to a collection agency for the purpose of collecting the outstanding fine.
Langara College
Jan 20, 2016
The applicant asked Langara College for grades assigned to him by classmates in a business course, as well as those that his classmates assigned to each other. The College refused access on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of the applicant’s classmates under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The Adjudicator agreed, but found that the College was required to give the applicant a summary of his grades in a manner that would not identify his classmates.
Proper treatment of a request for records
Dec 30, 2015
An applicant asked a public body for records concerning a transaction involving the public body and other third parties. The public body told the applicant that it would treat her request as a general inquiry. When she protested that she wanted her request treated as formal request under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), she was told the public body would respond as it saw fit. She complained to us, emphasizing that she had wanted her request to be subject to FIPPA to ensure the public body responded to her request within FIPPA’s timelines.
FIPPA applies only to records in the custody or under the control of a public body
Dec 23, 2015
An applicant received a number of records further to an access request she made to a public body. The applicant noticed that the public body’s response did not include an agenda for a meeting involving a number of public bodies. The public body to whom the applicant made the request told her it didn’t have a printed copy of the agenda. The applicant was aware that the agenda existed on one of the other public body’s “members only” website and asked the public body to whom she had made the request to access it and provide her with a printed copy. That raised the question of whether the public body could be considered to have custody and control of records that could be accessed on the website of another public body.
Ministry of Public Safety
Dec 23, 2015
The applicant requested access to his BC Corrections file. The Ministry disclosed a number of records and withheld other records and information under ss. 15(1)(f), (g) and (l), 16(1)(b) and 22(1). The adjudicator found that ss. 15(1)(g), 16(1)(b) and 22(1) applied to some information and records. The adjudicator also found that ss. 15(1)(f) and (l) and s. 22(1) did not apply to other information and records and ordered the Ministry to disclose them.
Ministry of Health
Dec 22, 2015
The applicant requested records about product listing agreements between pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Ministry. The Ministry disclosed some information but withheld other information under s. 17(1) of FIPPA (harm to the financial or economic interests of a public body or the government of British Columbia). The third party, a pharmaceutical manufacturer, submitted that the information should also be withheld under s. 21(1) (harm to third party business interests). The adjudicator found that the Ministry is authorized to withhold the information in dispute under s. 17(1), with the exception of the names and job titles of the Ministry employees and the identity of the Third Party and its employees. The adjudicator found that s. 21(1) does not apply to that information either, so it must be disclosed to the applicant.
Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
Dec 22, 2015
Dynasty Plus Ltd. requested a third party review of the Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism’s decision to disclose a contract and its amendments between the Government of British Columbia and Dynasty. Dynasty argued disclosure of the contract and its amendments would harm its business interests within the meaning of s. 21(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator confirmed the Ministry’s decision that s. 21(1) did not apply to the information it had decided to disclose because the information in the records was not supplied within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b) nor could disclosure of the records reasonably be expected to result in one of the harms set out in s. 21(1)(c) of FIPPA.
Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
Dec 22, 2015
Keemax Asia requested a third party review of the Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism’s decision to disclose two contracts and six contract amendments with the Government of British Columbia. Keemax argued disclosure of the two contracts and six contract amendments would harm its business interests within the meaning of s. 21(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator confirmed the Ministry’s decision that s. 21(1) did not apply to the information it had decided to disclose because the information in the records was not supplied within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b) of FIPPA.
Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
Dec 22, 2015
Dynasty Plus Ltd. requested a third party review of the Ministry of International Trade and Ministry Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism’s decision to disclose two contract amendments between the Government of British Columbia and Dynasty. Dynasty argued disclosure of the two contract amendments would harm its business interests within the meaning of s. 21(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator confirmed the Ministry’s decision that s. 21(1) did not apply to the information it had decided to disclose because the information in the records was not supplied within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b) of FIPPA.
Applicant objects to fee for access to water test data
Dec 17, 2015
An applicant requested access to the results of some water testing that had been conducted by a public body relating to a community’s water supply.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding David Loukidelis’ report to government
Dec 16, 2015
Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, released the following statement in response to Implementing Investigation Report F15-03 by David Loukidelis, released by government today:
Applicant requests survey section containing personal information from public body
Dec 9, 2015
A public body responded to a request for the narrative portion of a survey it had conducted with a partial release of information. It withheld the remainder under s. 22(1) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which requires a public body to withhold personal information, the disclosure of which would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy.
Ministry of Health
Dec 3, 2015
An applicant requested records related to the costs of a 2012 investigation into a health data breach in the Ministry of Health. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was not required under s. 25(1)(b) of FIPPA (public interest) to disclose the total amounts paid to lawyers who provided legal services in relation to the investigation. Further, the adjudicator found that the Ministry was not authorized to refuse to disclose the information under s. 14 of FIPPA (solicitor client privilege).
City of Vancouver, Resort Municipality of Whistler, Ministry of Finance
Dec 3, 2015
A journalist requested access to minutes, agendas and correspondence of four directors of the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (“VANOC”). The adjudicator found that the requested records are not in the custody or under the control of the public bodies.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Dec 3, 2015
A journalist requested records related to the use of free vouchers on BCLC’s PlayNow.com gaming site. BCLC withheld some of the information under s. 13(1) (advice or recommendations), s. 16(1)(b) (information received in confidence) and s. 17(1) (harm to BCLC’s financial interests). The adjudicator found that s. 13(1) applied to much of the information and that s. 17(1) applied to other information. The adjudicator also found that s. 17(1) did not apply to some information and ordered BCLC to disclose this information.
The Board of Education of School District 71 (Comox Valley)
Dec 3, 2015
The former chair of the Board of Education for School District No. 71 (Comox Valley) requested records related to an operational review of the school district. The Board refused to disclose some information under s. 13 (policy advice and recommendations) and s. 14 (solicitor client privilege) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that all of the information withheld under s. 14 was protected by solicitor client privilege and that the privilege had not been waived.
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Nov 24, 2015
The applicant requested a record of email activity sent to and from Ministry and other public bodies’ email addresses contained in logs residing on BC Government servers. The Ministry refused to disclose the record on the basis that disclosing it would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy under s. 22. The Ministry also said that it was unreasonable, for the purpose of s. 4(2) of FIPPA to sever information to which s. 22 applies and release the remaining information. The adjudicator found that s. 22 applies to the record in issue. Further, it is unreasonable under s. 4(2) for the Ministry to sever personal information to which s. 22 applies and disclose the remaining information.
Submission to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Nov 18, 2015
This report makes 20 recommendations for reform of B.C.'s public sector access to information and privacy law. Presented to the Special Committee on November 18, 2015.
Speech to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Nov 18, 2015
Honourable Chair, Vice-Chair, members of the Committee: I am pleased to be here again. Joining me is Deputy Commissioner Michael McEvoy. You will have received a detailed written submission from my Office. In it we make 20 recommendations for legislative change, including a duty to document, oversight of the destruction of records, mandatory breach notification and reporting, and stronger privacy management requirements that raise the bar for personal information protection in BC.
Vancouver Police Department
Nov 18, 2015
The applicant requested records about an individual who died in 1989. The VPD withheld all of the requested information from responsive records on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy (s. 22). Specifically, the VPD cited the presumption against disclosing personal information if the information was compiled and is identifiable as part of an investigation into a possible violation of law, except to the extent that disclosure is necessary to prosecute the violation or to continue the investigation (s. 22(3)(b)). The adjudicator determined that the VPD must refuse to disclose all of the requested information from the responsive records, except for the names and titles of employees who worked on the disputed records, because disclosing this information would not be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under s. 22(4)(e) of FIPPA.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to present to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Nov 17, 2015
On Wednesday, November 18, 2015 at 11:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will present her submission to the Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Commissioner and representative call for co-ordinated, comprehensive cyberbullying strategy
Nov 13, 2015
The provincial government should develop a comprehensive, cross-ministry strategy to both prevent and mitigate the effects of cyberbullying and educate children and youth on digital citizenship, say two independent officers of the British Columbia Legislature.
Cyberbullying: Empowering children and youth to be safe online and responsible digital citizens
Nov 13, 2015
Cyberbullying involves the use of digital technologies and services including social media, texts, and instant messaging to repeatedly harass and intimidate others. The issue of how best to reduce and penalize cyberbullying has not been resolved by any jurisdiction to date.
Joint release of report by B.C.’s representative for children and youth & information and privacy commissioner
Nov 12, 2015
The representative, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, and the information and privacy commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, will publicly release a joint report that examines the issue of cyberbullying. The report release will occur at the Privacy and Access 20/20: The Future of Privacy conference.
Commissioner to review access to information practices of the City of Vancouver
Nov 10, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will review the access to information practices of the City of Vancouver as its next project in the Office’s audit and compliance program.
Victoria Police Department
Nov 10, 2015
A journalist requested records related to the BC Association of Chiefs of Police and the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police. The Victoria Police Department disclosed some records but refused to disclose other records and information under ss. 3(1)(c), 13, 14, 15, 16 and 22 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) and s. 182 of the Police Act. The adjudicator found that some records could be withheld because they are outside the scope of FIPPA due to s. 3(1)(c) of FIPPA and others because s. 182 of the Police Act applied. The adjudicator also found that some information could be withheld under s. 13 (advice or recommendations), s. 14 (solicitor client privilege), s. 15 (1)(c) and (l) (harm to law enforcement) and s. 22 (harm to personal privacy). However, VicPD was not authorized to refuse to disclose any of the information it withheld under s. 16 (harm to intergovernmental relations or negotiations).
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority
Nov 4, 2015
The applicant is a retired employee of Coast Mountain Bus. He requested records related to a voluntary early retirement program. The South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (“TransLink”) withheld some of the requested information from responsive records on the basis that it is exempt from disclosure under s. 13 of FIPPA (advice or recommendations), and s. 22 (unreasonable invasion of personal privacy). The adjudicator determined that TransLink was authorized by s. 13 and required by s. 22 to withhold some of the information. The adjudicator determined that TransLink must disclose the rest of the information to the applicant. In addition, the adjudicator ordered TransLink to process, under Part 2 of FIPPA, the information that it incorrectly withheld from certain records on the basis that it was duplicated information.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding government response to OIPC Investigation Report F15-03
Nov 2, 2015
Elizabeth Denham, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner, released the following statement in response to the release of the Terms of Reference for David Loukidelis to assist government in dealing with the findings and recommendations in Investigation Report F15-03 Access Denied: Record Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia:
Investigation reveals major deficiencies in the access to information practices of two government ministries and the Office of the Premier
Oct 22, 2015
In an investigation report released today, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham identified major deficiencies in the access to information practices of two government ministries and the Office of the Premier.
Access Denied: Record Retention and Disposal Practices of the Government of British Columbia
Oct 22, 2015
Access to information rights can only exist when public bodies create the conditions for those rights to be exercised. Government must promote a culture of access, from executive leadership to front-line employees. If they fail to meet this obligation, the access to information process is rendered ineffective.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report about alleged deletion of emails and two additional access to information requests
Oct 21, 2015
On Thursday, Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report about the alleged destruction of records by a staff member of the Office of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Oct 21, 2015
The applicant requested records used to develop communications material to support the economic impacts of the Times of India Film Awards. The Ministry withheld some of the requested information from responsive emails on the basis that several exceptions to disclosure under FIPPA applied: Cabinet confidences (s. 12), advice and recommendations (s. 13), harm to the business interests of a third party (s. 21), and unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy (s. 22). The adjudicator determined that the Ministry is required to withhold some information under ss. 12 and 22, and authorized to withhold other information under s. 13. The Ministry is not required to withhold information under s. 21.
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Oct 13, 2015
An individual filed a complaint under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act alleging that the Ministry of Children and Family Development had disclosed her personal information and that of her family without her consent. The Commissioner found that the Ministry had disclosed two records that contained the personal information of the complainant and of her family in the course of its review of its handling of the Complainant’s case with the Ministry. The Commissioner also found that this disclosure was authorized by s. 33.2(c) of the Act, as being to employees of the Ministry and being necessary for the duties of those employees. Where disclosure is authorized by s. 33.2(c) the consent of the individual the information is about is not required. Finally, the Commissioner found that the security arrangements made by the Ministry for the conduct of its review met its obligation, pursuant to s. 30 of the Act, to make reasonable security arrangements against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Oct 13, 2015
A journalist asked for the total value of lottery products purchased through PlayNow.com for each B.C. postal code forward sortation area. A forward sortation area is comprised of the first three characters in a postal code. BCLC withheld the requested information on the basis that it believed disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm BCLC’s financial or economic interests, under s. 17 of FIPPA (specifically ss. 17(1), 17(1)(b) and 17(1)(d)). The applicant said that s. 25(1)(b) of FIPPA applies (i.e., disclosure is in the public interest). The adjudicator found that disclosure of the information was not clearly in the public interest, so BCLC was not required to disclose it under s. 25(1)(b). However, the adjudicator ordered BCLC to disclose the information because BCLC had not established that it was authorized to refuse access under ss. 17(1), 17(1)(b) and 17(1)(d) of FIPPA.
Letter to Minister Bond regarding Bill 39 - Provincial Immigration Programs Act
Oct 8, 2015
I am writing to provide comments on Bill 39 — the Provincial Immigration Programs Act, which you tabled before the Legislative Assembly on October 6, 2015.
City of New Westminster
Oct 6, 2015
An applicant requested records related to a building developer’s withdrawal from a partnership with the City of New Westminster. The City disclosed some records, but withheld some information under several exceptions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The adjudicator determined the City is authorized to withhold meeting minutes and a report to council and attachments under s. 12(3)(b) (local public body confidences), but not information from an agenda. The adjudicator also found that s. 13 (advice or recommendations) authorizes the City to withhold a draft communications brief. Finally, the adjudicator determined that the City is not authorized to withhold parts of the agenda and the meeting minutes on the basis that they were non-responsive to the applicant’s request.
More attention needed by Health Authorities to avoid future privacy breaches
Sep 30, 2015
Elizabeth Denham, British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is calling for immediate action to address gaps in the privacy breach management practices of B.C.’s health authorities following the release of today’s report, Examination of British Columbia Health Authority Privacy Breach Management.
Ministry of Justice
Sep 30, 2015
An applicant requested a copy of a food services agreement between Compass and the Ministry. Compass objected, on the grounds that disclosure of the agreement could reasonably be expected to harm its business interest. The adjudicator found that the information in the agreement was commercial and financial information of or about Compass but that the information had not been “supplied” to the Ministry. The adjudicator also found that Compass had not shown that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm its business interests. The adjudicator ordered the Ministry to disclose the entire agreement to the applicant.
University of Victoria
Sep 30, 2015
UVic denied the applicant access to a record of the results of a workplace investigation into allegations against a third party, on the grounds that its disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s privacy under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The Adjudicator found that s. 22(1) applies to the entire record and confirmed UVic’s decision to deny access to it.
Ministry of Justice
Sep 30, 2015
The applicant requested a copy of the report from the police to the Criminal Justice Branch (“Report to Crown counsel”) related to his criminal case. The Ministry denied access to the report under s. 15(1)(g) (disclosure could reasonably be expected to reveal information related to or used in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion), among other provisions. The adjudicator found that s. 15(1)(g) applies to the information in the report and that the Ministry exercised its discretion properly in withholding the information.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release special report about how health authorities manage privacy breaches
Sep 29, 2015
On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a special report entitled Examination of British Columbia Health Authority Privacy Breach Management.
Office of the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner to take part in SSHRC research project on big data surveillance
Sep 29, 2015
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia is proud to be a project partner in a five-year study of big data surveillance, made possible by a $2.5 million research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner on Right to Know Week
Sep 25, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham released the following statement in recognition of Right to Know Week, Sept. 28 to Oct. 4, 2015:
City of Vancouver
Sep 24, 2015
The applicant requested all correspondence and minutes naming himself and certain City Of Vancouver employees relating to the applicant’s role with various Community Centre Associations. The City disclosed some information but withheld some emails under ss. 13 (advice or recommendations), 14 (solicitor client privilege) and 22 (unreasonable invasion of personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator authorized the City to withhold all of the information withheld under s. 14 and most of the information withheld under s. 13. The adjudicator also determined that the City was required to refuse to disclose almost all of the information withheld under s. 22.
Commissioner's Address to L'Assemblee Nationale du Quebec (French Version)
Sep 24, 2015
Monsieur le Ministre, Messieurs et Mesdames les députés, Je vous remercie énormément de m’accorder l’occasion de vous adresser la parole sur un sujet très important.
Commissioner's Address to L'Assemblee Nationale du Quebec (English Version)
Sep 24, 2015
Monsieur le Ministre, Messieurs et Mesdames le députes Je vous remercie énormément de m’accorder l’occasion de vous adresser la parole sur un sujet très important. Je suis Elizabeth Denham, Commissaire à l’information et à la protection de la vie privée de la Colombie Britannique. C’est pour moi un privilège et un honneur de comparaitre devant vous aujourd’hui. I apologize that I could not attend in person, but fortunately, advances in technology have permitted me to make this presentation virtually, and answer any questions that you have.
OIPC launches new Privacy and Access Blog
Sep 23, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is pleased to announce the launch of the OIPC’s blog.
City of Williams Lake
Sep 23, 2015
The applicant requested correspondence about himself from the City of Williams Lake. The City disclosed most of the responsive information except for information that identified a third party who had written a series of emails about the applicant to the City. The information was withheld on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The City was required to continue withhold the identifying information under s. 22.
Architectural Institute of BC
Sep 23, 2015
The Architectural Institute of BC’s (“AIBC”) lawyer investigated a complaint about the applicant. AIBC refused to disclose a copy of the lawyer’s investigation report to the applicant, under s. 13 (advice and recommendations), s. 14 (solicitor client privilege) and s. 22 (unreasonable invasion of personal privacy) of FIPPA. The applicant requested that the parties’ dispute over the matter proceed to inquiry. AIBC requested the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not conduct an inquiry. The adjudicator granted AIBC’s request because it was plain and obvious that the report was protected by solicitor client privilege and could be withheld under s. 14 of FIPPA.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner on Ministry of Education breach
Sep 22, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to a serious privacy breach involving the Ministry of Education
Ministry of International Trade and Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism
Sep 16, 2015
Unders. 42(1)(i) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of PrivacyAct (“FIPPA”), the Commissioner authorizes the Ministry of International Trade & Responsible for Asia Pacific Strategy & Multiculturalism to indirectly collect personal information relating to deceased Chinese British Columbians whose personal information is to be included in the Celebration Book.
University of British Columbia
Sep 9, 2015
UBC refused access to the rubric, criteria and scoring instructions it uses to assess the personal profiles of prospective students under ss. 3(1)(d) and 3(1)(e) (outside scope of Act), s. 13 (policy advice and recommendations) and s. 17 (harm to the financial or economic interests of a public body) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that ss. 3(1)(d) and (e) did not apply, and the records were within the scope of FIPPA. The adjudicator also found that the information in dispute was not advice or recommendations under s. 13 and that disclosure could not reasonably be expected to harm UBC’s financial or economic interests under s. 17. UBC was ordered to disclose the requested information.
Ministry of Finance
Sep 3, 2015
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Finance related to the provincial government’s decision to fund the Times of India Film Awards. The Ministry withheld some information in the responsive records, citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry is required to withhold some information under s. 12 because disclosing it would reveal the substance of Treasury Board deliberations. The Ministry must disclose some titles, headings, and basic topic information because s. 12 does not apply.
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Sep 3, 2015
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training related to the provincial government’s decision to fund the Times of India Film Awards. The Ministry withheld some information in the responsive records, including information from a contract, citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry is required to withhold some information under s. 12 because disclosing it would reveal the substance of Treasury Board deliberations, but that the remaining information must be disclosed because s. 12 does not apply.
Global privacy guardians call for better privacy practices for children’s websites
Sep 2, 2015
Results of the third annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) privacy sweep show that companies making websites and mobile apps for children need to think more carefully about privacy, B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said today.
B.C. Pavilion Corporation
Sep 2, 2015
The applicant requested records the B.C. Pavilion Corporation (“PavCo”) used to process an earlier request for records. PavCo withheld some of the requested information on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body (s. 17 of FIPPA), as well as the business interests of a third party (s. 21). PavCo also withheld the name and position title of a PavCo employee on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy (s. 22). Further, PavCo refused to disclose some information in the records solely on the basis that the information was non-responsive to the request. The adjudicator determined that PavCo is not authorized or required to refuse to disclose any information under ss. 17, 21 or 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator also required PavCo to process the information it was withholding as non-responsive because it is only authorized or required to withhold this information under Division 2, Part 2 of FIPPA.
B.C. Pavilion Corporation
Sep 2, 2015
The applicant requested records the B.C. Pavilion Corporation (“PavCo”) used to process an earlier request for records. PavCo withheld some of the requested information on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body (s. 17 of FIPPA), as well as the business interests of a third party (s. 21). PavCo also withheld the name and position title of a PavCo employee on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy (s. 22). Further, PavCo refused to disclose some information in the records solely on the basis that the information was non-responsive to the request. The adjudicator determined that PavCo is not authorized or required to refuse to disclose any information under ss. 17, 21 or 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator also required PavCo to process the information it was withholding as non-responsive because it is only authorized or required to withhold this information under Division 2, Part 2 of FIPPA.
OIPC implements Piwik as a website analytics tool
Aug 26, 2015
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (“OIPC”) has implemented Piwik, a free open source web analytics platform, to gather non-identifiable information about how visitors use the OIPC website.
Ministry of Justice
Aug 21, 2015
An applicant requested records regarding the construction and operation of the Okanagan Correctional Centre. The Ministry of Justice disclosed some records to the applicant, but withheld others in their entirety on the basis that they were exempt from disclosure under FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was required or authorized to withhold most of this information under s. 12 (cabinet confidences), s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), s. 15 (disclosure harmful to law enforcement), s. 17 (disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of the public body), or s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of FIPPA.
British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.
Aug 21, 2015
Two third parties requested a review of a BC Ferry Services Inc. decision to disclose portions of records that are responsive to a request under FIPPA. The records relate to a BC Ferries arrangement with the third parties about a pilot project for two cable ferry routes. The third parties argued that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the corporate third party’s business interests. The adjudicator confirmed BC Ferries’ decision that s. 21 did not apply to the information it had decided to disclose, and ordered BC Ferries to disclose it to the person who had requested the records.
Ministry of Health
Aug 21, 2015
An applicant requested records relating to a program about medical residency positions for international medical graduates. The Ministry of Health disclosed some information, but withheld most of it on the basis that it was exempt from disclosure under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) or s. 14 (legal advice) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was authorized to refuse to disclose all of the information withheld under s. 14, but not the information withheld under s. 13.
School District 57 (Prince George)
Aug 21, 2015
The mother of a School District 57 (Prince George) student requested video camera footage that was taken during a 10 day period her son spent in a modified classroom setting. The School District responded by permitting the applicant to access the footage at its office, but it decided that it was required to refuse to disclose to the applicant a copy of the footage containing the personal information of the classroom teacher and youth care worker captured on the video because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of their personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 22 applies to the information about the classroom teacher and youth care worker. Section 22 did not apply to a RCMP officer whose image was also captured in the footage. The adjudicator determined that the applicant, medical professionals and legal professionals were entitled to access to the footage. However, the School District was not required to provide a copy of the footage to the applicant.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Aug 21, 2015
A journalist requested that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation provide expense reports of a specified BCLC employee who hosted BCLC customers at music concerts in 2012. BCLC withheld the names of the BCLC customers who were hosted at these music concerts under s. 17 (disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of the public body) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that BCLC is authorized to refuse to disclose the customer names because disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the financial or economic interests of BCLC under s. 17 of FIPPA.
City of Kelowna
Aug 21, 2015
An applicant requested records relating to City of Kelowna tendering processes for a construction project at a park. The City disclosed most of the information in the responsive records, but it withheld some information on the basis that it is exempt from disclosure under s. 13 (advice or recommendations), s. 17 (disclosure harmful to the financial or economic interests of the City) and s. 21 (disclosure harmful to the business interests of a third party) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the City was authorized to refuse to disclose all of the information withheld under s. 13 and that it is required to refuse to disclose some of the information withheld under s. 21. The adjudicator ordered the City to disclose the remaining information to the applicant.
Workers' Compensation Board
Aug 20, 2015
An applicant requested records relating to a Workers’ Compensation Board complaint filed by his adult daughter. WorkSafeBC disclosed some information to the applicant, but it withheld other information under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that WorkSafeBC is required or authorized to refuse to disclose the withheld information under ss. 13 and 22 of FIPPA.
City of Vancouver
Aug 19, 2015
An applicant requested records about City of Vancouver Bid Committee meetings. The Bid Committee makes decisions regarding the procurement of goods and services for the City. In response to the applicant’s request, the City identified reports that were prepared by City staff for the Bid Committee. It disclosed portions of these reports, but withheld some information under ss. 13, 16, 17 and 21 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the City is authorized to refuse to disclose nearly all of the information withheld under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), but that it must disclose the remaining information.
Is a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Program the Right Choice for Your Organization?
Aug 13, 2015
Bring Your Own Device or BYOD as it is commonly known, is a popular arrangement for many private sector organizations in Canada. With BYOD, however, there is an increased blurring of the lines between professional and personal lives, with employee concerns that their privacy is at risk, not to mention issues associated with consumers’ personal information.
Contemplating a Bring Your Own Device program? Consider these tips
Aug 13, 2015
Contemplating a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program? Consider these tips
Privacy guardians urge caution for businesses contemplating a Bring Your Own Device program
Aug 13, 2015
With the line between work and home increasingly blurred, bring your own device (BYOD) programs are growing in popularity and raising significant concerns among privacy guardians about the protection of personal information. In an effort to assist organizations that are considering introducing a BYOD program, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Alberta and British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioners’ Offices have issued joint guidelines aimed at mitigating risks of security incidents and privacy breaches.
City of Surrey
Aug 13, 2015
The applicant requested records detailing payments made by the City of Surrey to the London Speakers Bureau. The City withheld payment amounts from a chart, invoices, and a schedule of fees and expenses on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the business interests of a third party (s. 21). The Adjudicator determined that s. 21(1) did not apply to any of the information in dispute, and the City must disclose it. The Adjudicator further determined that s. 22(1) did not require the City to withhold any of the information in dispute.
City of Surrey
Aug 13, 2015
The applicant requested records detailing payments made by the City of Surrey to the Washington Speakers Bureau. The City withheld payment amounts from a chart, invoices and requisition forms on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the business interests of a third party (s. 21). The Adjudicator determined that s. 21(1) did not apply to any of the information in dispute, and the City must disclose it. The Adjudicator further determined that s. 22(1) did not require the City to withhold any of the information in dispute.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Aug 13, 2015
The applicant requested a copy of her deceased mother’s medical records. VIHA refused to disclose the records on the basis that the applicant was not authorized to act on behalf of her deceased mother and because it considered disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the applicant was not authorized to act on behalf of her deceased mother and that disclosure of the medical records would be an unreasonable invasion of the deceased’s personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA.
Prison guard accesses inmate's personal information in work database
Aug 12, 2015
Checking up on someone’s personal details on a workplace computer can be so quick and easy that the occasional employee may forget the importance of privacy protection and the fact that electronic snooping may not go unnoticed. Some public bodies build in the ability to monitor who is accessing what personal data and when into their security procedures. The consequences for snooping can be severe and unpleasant.
City of Vancouver
Aug 12, 2015
A journalist requested a copy of the City Manager’s Agenda for a period spanning approximately three months. The City of Vancouver disclosed most of the Agenda, but withheld small excerpts on the basis that disclosure would harm the security of a communications system (s. 15(1)(l)) or be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties (s. 22 of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that apart from telephone numbers that comprised contact information, the withheld information in the Agenda was appropriately withheld by the City.
City of Vancouver
Aug 12, 2015
A former City of Vancouver employee requested all correspondence containing his name that was authored in certain time periods by any of eleven City employees. The City disclosed most of the correspondence but withheld some responsive information under ss. 13 (advice or recommendations) and 22 (unreasonable invasion of personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator authorized the City to withhold some information under s. 13 while finding that other information must be disclosed. The adjudicator also determined that the City was required to refuse most of the information withheld under s. 22, but that some of the information was contact information so must be disclosed.
Public input wanted on B.C.'s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Jul 29, 2015
An all-party Special Committee of the Legislature is seeking public input into its review of B.C.’s public sector access to information and privacy legislation.
Privacy obstacles frustrate daughter seeking answers about father's death
Jul 28, 2015
The daughter of a man who died in hospital asked a health authority for a copy of his medical records so she could try to unravel what seemed to her the mysterious circumstances of his death. The health authority denied the request, telling her that “neither you nor your brother were listed as contacts on the medical record or listed in the will.” It seemed to her outrageous that the next of kin of the deceased could be so brusquely denied access to a parent’s medical information, so she asked our office to review the health authority’s response.
Contractor says his birthdate none of government's business
Jul 22, 2015
A ministry awarded a road-building contract to a man who operated as a sole proprietor and was therefore personally responsible for legal liabilities incurred in the operation of his business. The ministry needed to confirm he was at least 19 and therefore legally a responsible adult, so it asked him for two pieces of identification including one showing his date of birth. He objected and asked us to investigate the ministry’s authority to require him to provide his date of birth.
Commissioner's address to the Special Committee to review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Jul 21, 2015
Good morning Mr. Chair, Mr. Deputy Chair, Members of the Committee. With me today are Deputy Commissioner Michael McEvoy and Pat Egan, Acting Assistant Commissioner. It is a pleasure to be here to provide you with a broad perspective as you begin the important task of reviewing the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Law balances privacy, accountability
Jul 14, 2015
Editor: Your editorial states that privacy law should not be used as a shield against government accountability. I couldn’t agree more.
Public body tells requester "come back in a few months"
Jul 13, 2015
A woman who wrote to a municipality requesting a copy of its revenue and expenses statement took umbrage when she was told to “come back in a few months,” after the municipality had completed its annual audit. She wrote again, asking the municipality to reconsider its response and send her with a copy without delay. Hearing nothing in reply, she complained to us.
Public body refuses access to internal audit summaries
Jul 7, 2015
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) lists several specific exceptions to the general right of access in ss. 12 through 22. A public body receiving a request for information carefully reviews the application of those exceptions before responding to the request. It needs to ensure that, in the particular circumstances of the request, its application of FIPPA exceptions meets the rigorous tests required by FIPPA, as interpreted over the years in orders by the OIPC Commissioner and adjudicators, as well as by court cases. Public bodies that apply exceptions without ensuring that they have met each condition required by FIPPA do so at their peril.
City of Richmond
Jul 6, 2015
A former employee requested that the City of Richmond disclose the total amount paid to settle disputes with two former employees, as well as the total legal fees incurred for those matters. The City withheld the total amount paid to settle disputes under ss. 14 and 17 of FIPPA, and the legal fee information under ss.14, 17 and 22. The adjudicator determined that none of the exceptions applied and ordered the information disclosed.
Commissioner issues report about Mount Polley mine tailings pond breach and duty to proactively disclose information in the public interest
Jul 2, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham today issued an investigation report that examines whether government had a duty to release information relating to the failure of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond dam. The report also re-interprets a section of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) relating to public bodies’ obligations to disclosure information that is clearly in the public interest.
Review of the Mount Polley mine tailings pond failure and public interest disclosure by public bodies
Jul 2, 2015
The Mount Polley mine tailings pond dam failure on August 4, 2014, was a serious environmental disaster. In the wake of the tailings pond breach, government initiated three separate investigations to determine what went wrong, including an Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel, whose final report on the mine tailings pond breach was published on January 30, 2015.
Delta Police Department
Jul 2, 2015
The applicant requested his personal information from records contained in a Delta Police Department (“DPD”) motor vehicle collision investigation (“collision investigation”) file and two DPD files about police officer behaviour related to the collision investigation. The DPD withheld some of the collision investigation records on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA. The DPD withheld almost all of the behaviour records on the basis they were outside the scope of FIPPA due to ss. 66.1 and/or 182 of the Police Act. The adjudicator determined that a withheld record arising from the applicant’s complaint about DPD officer behaviour was outside the scope of FIPPA because the record arose out of and was created after an internal discipline complaint under Part 9 of the Police Act. For the records related to a complaint about the applicant, some information on one page is outside the scope of FIPPA under s. 182 of the Police Act. The DPD must process under FIPPA the remaining information withheld as outside the scope of FIPPA because it does not disclose or relate to a Police Act complaint or investigation or was created before a Police Act investigation began. The adjudicator also determined that s. 22 did not apply to the applicant’s personal information withheld under that provision.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report on Mount Polley mine and public interest disclosures
Jun 30, 2015
On Thursday, July 2 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report that examines whether the B.C. government had a duty to warn and inform citizens about a tailings pond breach at the Mount Polley mine under section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Jun 30, 2015
An applicant requested BC Emergency Health Services (“BCEHS”) provide her with a transcript, including the name and phone number of an individual who called 911 from the scene of an accident in which the applicant was seriously injured. BCEHS provided the applicant with a transcript of the call, but withheld personal information including the caller’s name and phone number because it believed disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy (s. 22 of FIPPA). The applicant was not satisfied with BCEHS’ response and asked the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry. BCEHS requested the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not hold an inquiry. The adjudicator found that it was not plain and obvious that disclosure of the third party’s personal information would be an unreasonable invasion of their personal privacy under s. 22; therefore, BCEHS’s request that an inquiry not be held was denied.
Langara College
Jun 30, 2015
An applicant requested records from Langara College relating to complaints made against him as well as complaints he had made. The College disclosed most of the information but withheld some identifying information of complainants and witnesses and some other personal information as relating to law enforcement investigations under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 22 of FIPPA applied to some of the withheld information in dispute. However, the adjudicator found that it was not unreasonable to disclose information that the applicant already knew.
Daughter seeking closure on mother's death asks for ambulance report
Jun 29, 2015
An elderly woman who was taken to hospital by ambulance died there a few days later. To better understand what had happened, her daughter requested a copy of the ambulance crew report. The BC Ambulance Service withheld the report as an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under s. 22 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The daughter asked us to review that decision.
IT Security and Employee Privacy: Tips and Guidance
Jun 25, 2015
This guidance document gives an overview of the issues employers should consider before implementing IT security tools that collect employee personal information.
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Jun 25, 2015
The applicant requested records relating to a 2012 landslide near his home that originated at a logging site. The issue was whether the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations was required to disclose to the applicant a report regarding the slide under s. 25 of FIPPA. Section 25 requires public bodies to, without delay, disclose information that is about a risk of significant harm to the environment or to the health or safety of the public or a group of people, or because disclosure is otherwise clearly in the public interest. The adjudicator determined that s. 25 does not apply to the information in the report.
PIPA and Strata Corporations: Frequently Asked Questions
Jun 22, 2015
This FAQ is intended to accompany the Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Agents (https://www.oipc.bc.ca/guidance-documents/1455) to assist strata corporations and strata agents in discharging their duties under the Strata Property Act (“SPA”) in a manner that respects the privacy of owners and tenants under the BC Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”).
OIPC releases updated guidelines for strata corporations and agents
Jun 22, 2015
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has released an updated version of Privacy Guidelines for Strata Corporations and Strata Agents.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Jun 18, 2015
In Order F14-27 it was held that VIHA could not sever and withhold portions of responsive records on the basis that those portions were ‘outside the scope’ of the applicant’s request. A reconsideration was sought and this order decides that issue. FIPPA does not authorize a public body to sever and withhold portions of responsive records on the basis that they are outside the scope of an applicant’s request. VIHA is ordered to consider the applicant’s request as it relates to those portions and disclose them with the exception of any information to which exceptions to disclosure set out in Division 2 of Part 2 of FIPPA apply.
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Jun 18, 2015
In Order F14-32 it was held that the Ministry was not authorized to sever and withhold portions of responsive records on the basis that those portions were “out of scope of request”. The Ministry sought a reconsideration of Order F14-32 on that issue. FIPPA does not authorize the Ministry to withhold portions of responsive records on the basis that they are outside the scope of the applicant’s request. It is ordered to consider the request as it relates to those portions and disclose them except with respect to information to which exceptions to disclosure set out in Division 2 of Part 2 of FIPPA apply.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Jun 18, 2015
The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association requested that ICBC provide records related to the data sharing and privacy aspects of combining the BC driver’s licence with the BC Services Card. ICBC refused to disclose some of the information in the responsive records under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), s. 14 (legal advice) and s. 22 (disclosure harmful to personal privacy). The adjudicator found that, with a few exceptions, most of information was properly withheld under ss. 13 and 14. The adjudicator determined that disclosure of the withheld personal information would not be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy, so ICBC was not authorized to withhold it under s. 22. ICBC also refused to disclose parts of the records on the basis that they were “not responsive” or outside the scope of the applicant’s request. The adjudicator held that ICBC is not authorized to refuse to disclose the information on that basis, and the only part of a responsive record that may be withheld is that which is covered by an exception under Part 2 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Environment
Jun 18, 2015
The applicant requested the Ministry provide records related to his landfill operation. The Ministry refused to disclose some information under s. 3(1)(h) (outside scope of Act), s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations), s. 14 (solicitor client privilege), s. 15 (harm to law enforcement), and s. 22 (harm to personal privacy) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that s. 3(1)(h) did not apply and the records were within the scope of FIPPA. The adjudicator also found that most of the information withheld under ss. 13, 14 and 22, and all of the information withheld under ss. 15(1)(d) and (l), was appropriately withheld under those exceptions. The Ministry also severed information from the records on the basis that the information was “not responsive” to the applicant’s request. The adjudicator held that FIPPA does not authorize refusing to disclose information on that basis.
Meeting of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities in Hong Kong June 11-12, 2015
Jun 15, 2015
The 43rd Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA) Forum was hosted by the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data, Hong Kong on 11–12 June 2015. The meeting was attended by a broad range of APPA members
Treasury board submissions withheld from ENGO applicant
Jun 10, 2015
An environmental non-governmental organization (ENGO), concerned about what it believed to be ill-considered energy policies of the administration in office, requested draft plans for a proposed energy distribution line. The ministry responded by withholding the responsive records in their entirety, save for headings identifying them as Treasury Board submissions, citing s. 12 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), which requires a public body to refuse to disclose information that would reveal the substance of deliberations of the Executive Council (Cabinet) or any of its committees.
Ministry of Justice
Jun 3, 2015
An applicant requested a copy of the Ministry of Justice’s Corrections Branch adult custody policy manual. The Ministry disclosed most of the manual but withheld some information about the control tools staff members use, how often inmates are checked, and how staff members respond to emergencies, under ss. 15(1)(c),(f),(j),(k) and (l) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (harm to law enforcement). The adjudicator determined that, except for a small amount of information related to preserving evidence, the designation of suicidal inmates, some of the methods and technology used to search visitors and inmates, and where control tools are located, the Ministry’s evidence does not establish that disclosure could reasonably be expected to cause the harms the Ministry alleged, therefore the Ministry must disclose most of the information it withheld.
Two ministries ask for time extensions, with differing results
Jun 2, 2015
An applicant asked a ministry for records related to her job application and the hiring process. The ministry did not respond within the 30 business-day deadline set by s. 7 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) and then extended the time limit, citing its authority to do so under s. 10. She complained to us that the extension seemed unjustified.
House of Cards: Privacy, Security and Information Governance in a Digital Society
Jun 2, 2015
Speech delivered at the Evanta CIO Executive Summit in Vancouver, BC.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding alleged destruction of records
May 28, 2015
On May 27 my Office received a letter outlining serious allegations of destruction of records by individuals within the Office of the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Float-plane operator seeks information about competitor's water lease application
May 26, 2015
A float-plane company was concerned a competitor might gain an advantage if the city approved a new water lease adjacent to its own operations. The owner requested meeting minutes of a city council committee that was reviewing the proposed lease, as well as reports presented during the meeting.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding proposed amendments to Bill 20 (Election Amendment Act)
May 14, 2015
If passed, Bill 20 would require Elections BC to disclose information about whether or not a person has voted in an election or by-election to political parties and individuals who were candidates in a provincial election.
News and Views from B.C.'s Privacy Commissioner
May 13, 2015
Keynote address to the BC Canadian Bar Association - Access and Privacy sub-section
2nd Privacy and Access 20/20 conference to convene in Vancouver BC
May 7, 2015
The Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and Reboot Communications are pleased to announce the 2nd Privacy and Access 20/20 Conference, November 12 and 13, 2015 at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver, BC. The theme for this two-day conference is The Future of Privacy.
Corporation of the District of Oak Bay
May 7, 2015
An applicant requested the Corporation of the District of Oak Bay (“Oak Bay”) provide him with records related to a permit to renovate his home. Oak Bay provided the applicant with records responsive to his request, but withheld names, house numbers and signatures from a petition because it believed disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy (s. 22 of FIPPA). The applicant was not satisfied with Oak Bay’s response and asked the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry. Oak Bay requested the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not hold an inquiry. The adjudicator found that it was not plain and obvious that disclosure of the petitioners’ personal information would be an invasion of their personal privacy under s. 22; therefore, Oak Bay’s request that an inquiry not be held was denied.
Student requests questions and answers from failed exam
May 5, 2015
A student who failed an exam at a business school operated by a university later asked for a copy of the exam questions as well as the multiple-choice answers he had been given. The university denied his request under s. 3(1)(d) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). He asked us to review that decision.
City of Courtenay
May 4, 2015
The applicant requested that the City of Courtenay provide information about City council resolutions and votes concerning a privately owned property. The City refused to disclose information on the grounds that disclosure would reveal the substance of City council’s in camera deliberations (s. 12(3)(b) of FIPPA) and because the information was protected by solicitor client privilege (s. 14 of FIPPA). The adjudicator found that most of the information could be withheld under s. 12(3)(b). However, the balance of the information in dispute (i.e., names of meeting attendees, dates and times of the meetings, and the date the minutes were adopted, signed and certified as correct) could not be withheld under either s. 12(3)(b) or s. 14.
Municipal watchdog requests engineering report on soil stability
Apr 28, 2015
A municipality decided to build a community centre and needed to determine that the soil at the chosen location could support the structure. The engineering consultant hired to assess the situation prepared a comprehensive report that then became the subject of an access request by a resident. The applicant was a structural expert and wanted to satisfy himself that the report dealt adequately with the issue of soil stability.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding exterior-facing surveillance cameras on BC Transit buses
Apr 23, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement about the use of surveillance cameras on BC Transit buses:
Accused man wants police file after completion of prosecution
Apr 21, 2015
An applicant facing a criminal charge requested a copy of the police file related to his arrest. The police department denied his request because it was related to a prosecution that had not yet been completed. He asked us to review the decision to deny him access.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner welcoming agreement addressing province's archival backlog
Apr 15, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement welcoming an agreement reached between the Government of B.C. and the Royal British Columbia Museum (RBCM) aimed at addressing the province’s archival backlog.
Applicant requests minutes from a governing body’s in camera meeting
Apr 14, 2015
An applicant asked us to review the decision of a governing body of an occupation that declined his request for a copy of the minutes of a meeting of one of its committees.
Ministry of Finance
Apr 14, 2015
The applicant requested the combined amount of taxes remitted in 2012 under the Insurance Premium Tax Act by insurance companies that provide title insurance in British Columbia. The Ministry of Finance withheld the information on the basis that it would disclose information that was obtained on a tax return or gathered for the purpose of determining tax liability or collecting tax (s. 21(2) of FIPPA). The adjudicator found that disclosure of the requested information is not prohibited by s. 21(2) of FIPPA and ordered the Ministry to disclose it.
Park Royal Medical Clinic
Apr 14, 2015
A complainant alleged that a named employee of the Park Royal Medical Clinic disclosed information in a patient’s records contrary to PIPA. The complainant also alleged that the Clinic’s complaint investigation did not satisfy the requirements for dealing with complaints in s. 5 of PIPA and that the Clinic did not have reasonable security arrangements to protect the patient’s personal information in its custody as required by s. 34 of PIPA. The complainant’s allegation that the Clinic’s employee made an unauthorized disclosure of the patient’s information was not supported by the evidence. However the adjudicator found the Clinic did not have a complaint process that complied with s. 5 of PIPA. The Clinic also did not have reasonable security arrangements to protect the patient’s personal information in its custody as required by s. 34 of PIPA. The Clinic was ordered to comply with ss. 5 and 34 of PIPA.
Letter to Minister Anton regarding Bill 20 - Election Amendment Act
Apr 13, 2015
I am writing to provide my comments on Bill 20 – the Election Amendment Act, which you tabled before the Legislative Assembly on March 24, 2015.
City councillor names FOI requester during public meeting
Apr 7, 2015
During a public meeting, a city councillor mentioned by name a citizen who had made a number of requests for information to the city. The disclosure led to several references to the requester in the local paper as well as a complaint to our office by the requester that the city had inappropriately disclosed his personal information in contravention of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”).
City of Kelowna
Apr 2, 2015
An applicant requested the City of Kelowna (the “City”) provide information related to a bylaw complaint. The applicant was not satisfied with the City’s response and asked the Commissioner to conduct an inquiry. The City requested the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 of FIPPA to not hold an inquiry. The adjudicator granted the City’s request because it was plain and obvious that disclosure of the requested information would reveal the identity of a confidential source of law enforcement information so s. 15(1)(d) of FIPPA applied.
Use of Employee Monitoring Software by the District of Saanich
Mar 30, 2015
In the context of information technology and information management, public bodies have two related and important responsibilities: to maintain a high level of security over its data and networks, and to respect the personal privacy of employees and citizens.
Key features of District of Saanich employee monitoring software violate employee privacy rights
Mar 30, 2015
In an investigation report released today, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is recommending that the District of Saanich disable key features of its employee monitoring software including keystroke logging, automated screen shots and continuous tracking of computer program activity because they violate the privacy rights of employees and elected officials.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release report regarding District of Saanich use of employee monitoring software
Mar 27, 2015
On Monday, March 30 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report examining the use of employee monitoring software by the District of Saanich.
City of Rossland
Mar 26, 2015
The applicant requested year-end pay statements of a former and current CAO of the City of Rossland. The City withheld the pay statements on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of some information in the pay statements because it was not an unreasonable invasion of privacy, including information about remuneration under s. 22(4)(e) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the City must continue to withhold some information that under s. 22(3) is presumed to be an unreasonable invasion of privacy if disclosed.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency
Mar 25, 2015
A journalist requested a list of Private Career Training Institutions Agency’s suppliers and contractors that were paid more than $10,000 in either of two fiscal years, as well as the amounts of those payments. The Agency disclosed most of the information, but withheld the identity and payment amount information for its legal counsel on the basis that the information was subject to solicitor client privilege (s. 14 of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that solicitor client privilege did not apply and required the Agency to disclose the withheld information.
Ministry of Justice
Mar 24, 2015
The applicant requested details of financial transactions between the Ministry and the law firm Borden Ladner Gervais and between the Ministry and a specific lawyer in that firm. The requested information was contained in legal retainer agreements, requests to retain outside legal counsel, legal invoices and associated records. The Ministry refused to disclose the requested information under s. 14 of FIPPA on the grounds that it was subject to solicitor client privilege. The adjudicator found that the Ministry is authorized to refuse to disclose the requested information under s. 14.
BC Coroners Service
Mar 19, 2015
The applicant requested the BC Coroners Service file on its investigation into the death of a named individual. The Coroners Service disclosed some records but denied access to others under ss. 64(1)(a) and 64(2)(a) of the Coroners Act and s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that ss. 64(1)(a) or 64(2)(a) of the Coroners Act apply to most of the records. The adjudicator also found that s. 22 of FIPPA applies to a number of records, with the exception of three records that were provided to the Coroners Service by the applicant. The adjudicator ordered the Coroners Service to disclose those three records to the applicant.
Ministry of Justice
Mar 18, 2015
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Justice relating to a workplace investigation involving him that resulted in his employment being terminated. The Ministry disclosed some records and withheld others, citing ss. 13, 14, 15, and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of some information withheld under ss. 14 and 22, and all of the information withheld under s. 15(1)(c). The remaining information was required to be withheld under s. 22 or authorized to be withheld under ss. 13 or 15(1)(l).The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Justice relating to a workplace investigation involving him that resulted in his employment being terminated. The Ministry disclosed some records and withheld others, citing ss. 13, 14, 15, and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of some information withheld under ss. 14 and 22, and all of the information withheld under s. 15(1)(c). The remaining information was required to be withheld under s. 22 or authorized to be withheld under ss. 13 or 15(1)(l).
Ministry of Health
Mar 18, 2015
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Health relating to the regulation of raw milk in BC. The Ministry disclosed some records to the applicant. The Ministry withheld some records under ss.13 (policy advice), 14 (solicitor-client privilege), and 22 (third party personal information) of FIPPA and some others on the basis that they are outside the scope of FIPPA under s. 3(1)(j). The adjudicator ordered disclosure of the information withheld under s. 3(1)(j) and some of the information withheld under ss. 13, 14 and 22. The remaining information was required to be withheld under s. 22 or authorized to be withheld under ss. 13 or 14.
Fraser Health Authority
Mar 10, 2015
An applicant requested a Fraser Health Authority (“FHA”) investigation file about a workplace complaint she made to FHA. FHA disclosed nearly all of the records, but withheld part of one page of notes on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties (s. 22 of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that FHA was required to refuse to disclose the withheld information under s. 22 of FIPPA.
BC Pavilion Corporation
Mar 9, 2015
An applicant requested a copy of the agreement between PavCo and the BC Lions for the use of BC Place Stadium. The BC Lions disagreed with PavCo’s decision that s. 21 of FIPPA (harm to third party business interests) did not apply to the record. The adjudicator concluded that s. 21(1) did not apply to the record as the BC Lions had not “supplied” the information in dispute within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b). The adjudicator ordered PavCo to disclose all of the Agreement to the applicant.
Letter to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security re: Bill C-51 - The Anti-terrorism Act, 2015
Mar 4, 2015
We are writing to you in our capacity as independent provincial and territorial privacy commissioners to express our deep concern about the far reaching implications of Bill C-51 (the Anti-terrorism Act, 2015) for the fundamental rights of Canadians.
Letter to Minister de Jong regarding Bill 13 - Finance Statutes Amendment Act 2015
Mar 2, 2015
I am writing to express my observations regarding Bill 13, the Finance Statutes Amendment Act, tabled before the Legislative Assembly on February 26, 2015.
BC Securities Commission
Feb 26, 2015
The applicant requested information regarding BCSC’s communications with government and private organizations regarding the applicant and four named companies. BCSC refused to disclose the requested information on the grounds that the information was protected by solicitor-client privilege and s. 14 of FIPPA applied. The adjudicator found that BCSC had proven that litigation privilege applied to some of the records and they could be withheld under s. 14. However, neither litigation privilege nor legal advice privilege applied to the rest of the records, so they could not be withheld under s. 14.
Capital Regional District
Feb 26, 2015
The applicant requested access to legal advice received by the Capital Regional District (“CRD”) regarding a new zoning bylaw proposed by the Township of Esquimalt. The adjudicator found that the CRD was authorized to refuse to disclose the legal advice under s. 14 of FIPPA because it is subject to solicitor client privilege and the privilege had not been waived.
British Columbia Utilities Commission
Feb 19, 2015
In the course of investigating consumers’ complaints about Active Energy, BCUC commissioned an investigative report from Consumer Protection BC. During the process, BCUC decided the report should be held in confidence and later, having heard submissions, decided to expunge it from the record. BCUC’s enforcement action later resulted in a settlement agreement with Active Energy. The applicant requested access to the report and BCUC decided to disclose it. Active Energy’s appeal is allowed, as s. 61(2)(c) of the Administrative Tribunals Act excludes the record from FIPPA’s application.
British Columbia Utilities Commission
Feb 19, 2015
In the course of investigating consumers’ complaints about Active Energy, BCUC commissioned an investigative report from Consumer Protection BC. During the process, BCUC decided the report should be held in confidence and later, having heard submissions, decided to expunge it from the record. BCUC’s enforcement action later resulted in a settlement agreement with Active Energy. The applicant requested access to the report and BCUC decided to disclose it. For reasons given in Order F15-06, Active Energy’s appeal is allowed, as s. 61(2)(c) of the Administrative Tribunals Act excludes the record from FIPPA’s application.
Guidance for the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement authorities
Feb 18, 2015
This guidance document aims to identify some of the privacy considerations law enforcement authorities should take into account when deciding whether to outfit law enforcement officers with body-worn cameras. Also described is the privacy framework that should be part of any law enforcement body-worn camera program in order to ensure compliance with Canada’s personal information protection statutes.
Law enforcement agencies urged to consider privacy and personal information protection before adopting body-worn cameras
Feb 18, 2015
Federal, provincial and territorial privacy and personal information protection Ombudspersons and Commissioners issue guidance on law enforcement and the use of body-worn cameras
West Vancouver Police Department
Feb 18, 2015
A former West Vancouver Police Department police officer requested records relating to an internal WVPD investigation that led to the termination of his employment. WVPD denied access to some of the records on the basis that they were outside the scope of FIPPA due to s. 182 of the Police Act. The adjudicator determined that s. 182 of the Police Act did not apply because the investigation into the applicant was not initiated under Part 11 of the Police Act. The adjudicator therefore found that the records were within the scope of FIPPA and ordered WVPD to process the applicant’s request.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding recommended changes to the Personal Information Protection Act
Feb 17, 2015
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to the final report of the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act, B.C.’s private sector privacy legislation.
Letter to Minister Virk regarding Bill 5 - Government Information Act
Feb 13, 2015
I am writing to comment on Bill 5, the Government Information Act, tabled in the Legislative Assembly on February 12, 2015. I am encouraged that government is proposing legislation that will provide a framework for modern records management within government.
Curating the Future, Preserving the Past: Graduate education in the information age
Feb 13, 2015
Thank you very much. It’s great to be back at my Alma Mater. Some of you will know that today’s symposium, and my speech here today is an official event of the 2015 BC AWARE campaign, an initiative led by the Vancouver chapter of ISACA to raise public awareness about privacy and data security.
Privacy Law in the Digital Age
Feb 4, 2015
Keynote presentation to the TRU Law Students Conference in Kamloops on February 4, 2015.
Improvements recommended on government privacy breaches
Jan 28, 2015
The B.C. government should build on the fundamentals it has established and make improvements in the way it manages privacy breaches of citizens’ personal information, according to a report by B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release special report about how government manages privacy breaches
Jan 27, 2015
On Wednesday, Jan. 28 B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a special report entitled, An Examination of BC Government’s Privacy Breach Management.
Interior Health Authority
Jan 27, 2015
The applicant requested agreements for ultrasound services between the Interior Health Authority and Canadian Ultrasound Solutions. The adjudicator found that disclosure of the agreements would not cause harm to Canadian Ultrasound Solutions and ordered the Interior Health Authority to disclose the agreements to the applicant.
B.C. Privacy Commissioner to investigate District of Saanich use of employee monitoring software
Jan 20, 2015
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has initiated an investigation into the District of Saanich’s use of monitoring software to track employee activity on its computer systems.
Commissioner welcomes changes to employment-related record checks in B.C.
Jan 19, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is welcoming a new province-wide policy for employment-related record checks that includes an end to the disclosure of mental health information by police.
Employees have privacy rights at work
Jan 15, 2015
Letter to the Editor regarding employee privacy in the workplace.
Instructions for Written Inquiries
Jan 15, 2015
These instructions will help you get ready to participate in a written inquiry by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (“OIPC”).
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding employee monitoring software and use of personal email accounts
Jan 13, 2015
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement about the use of employee monitoring software by public bodies, and the use of personal email accounts by public servants and officials.
Transportation Investment Corporation
Jan 13, 2015
A journalist requested records relating to tolling operations services for the Port Mann Bridge. Transportation Investment Corporation released most of the responsive information, but withheld portions of one contract on the basis that disclosure would harm the security of TI Corp’s computer network and firewall (s. 15(1)(l)), harm the business interests of a third party (s. 21), or be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties (s. 22). The adjudicator determined that TI Corp was authorized to withhold all of the information withheld under s. 15(1)(l). It was also required to withhold some of the information withheld under s. 21 and all of the information withheld under s. 22.
Privacy Commissioners sign new MOU on private sector privacy
Jan 13, 2015
The Information and Privacy Commissioners of British Columbia and Alberta and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada have renewed their commitment to collaborate in an effort to better protect Canadians’ personal information in the digital age.
B.C. Coroners Service
Jan 8, 2015
An applicant requested a record confirming whether a post-mortem or toxicology examination was conducted in relation to the death of a specified individual. The B.C. Coroners Service refused to confirm or deny the existence of a responsive record pursuant to s. 8(2) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that confirming or denying the existence of certain types of records – or confirming that no responsive records exist – would convey personal information of the deceased. The adjudicator determined that the Coroner is authorized to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of these types of records because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the deceased's personal privacy (s. 8(2)(b)). Section 8(2)(b) did not apply to types of records that would not convey personal information. The adjudicator also determined that disclosure of the mere existence or non-existence of a requested record needs to convey information described in s. 15 of FIPPA (information harmful to law enforcement) for s. 8(2)(a) to apply. Section 8(2)(a) did not apply to the remaining records.
B.C. Coroners Service
Jan 8, 2015
A journalist requested full details of all deaths investigated by the Coroner over a 16 year period. He requested the information in one electronic record, or alternatively as several electronic records that could be linked with a unique identifier. The requested records do not exist in either format, and the Coroner submitted that it was not obliged to create the records under s. 6(2) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that that the Coroner was not obliged to create a single electronic record because doing so would unreasonably interfere with the Coroner’s operations (s. 6(2)(b)). The adjudicator determined that creating several electronic records (one for each table in the database) would not unreasonably interfere with the Coroner’s operations. However, the adjudicator concluded those records could not reasonably be severed (s. 4(2) of FIPPA), so the Coroner was not obliged to create them.
An Adjudication under Section 62 of the Act, Requested by J.D.
Jan 6, 2015
Jane Doe (the "Applicant") has applied under s. 62 of FIPPA for a review of a decision made by the OIPC on January 10, 2014. This decision refused the Applicant's request on January 9, 2014, for disclosure of certain information in the custody and control of the OIPC and used in its handling of a privacy complaint made by the Applicant.
Ministry of Technology, Innovation & Citizens' Services
Dec 29, 2014
The NDP Caucus requested records related to DDB Canada’s services on the HST information campaign. The Ministry proposed to disclose most of the information, despite DDB’s argument that its disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm DDB’s business interests and those of its service providers. The adjudicator found that DDB had not shown how such harm could occur and ordered the Ministry to disclose the information.
Privacy Issue Consultation - New Car Dealer Association of BC and Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia
Dec 23, 2014
Letter to Blair Qualey, President & CEO of the New Car Dealer Association of BC regarding the collection and use by car dealers of the personal information of customers and compliance with PIPA.
Ministry of Finance
Dec 23, 2014
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Finance related to the government’s decision to contribute funding towards a National Soccer Development Centre at UBC. The Ministry withheld some information, citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA and harm to third party business interests under s. 21 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry is required to refuse to disclose some information under s. 12 because it would reveal the substance of Treasury Board deliberations, either directly or by inference. Section 12 does not require the Ministry to refuse to disclose subject headings. Section 21 does not require the Ministry to refuse to disclose parts of a business case report.
Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development
Dec 23, 2014
The applicant requested records from the Ministry of Community Sport and Cultural Development related to the government’s decision to contribute funding towards a National Soccer Development Centre at UBC. The Ministry withheld some information in responsive records stating that it is required to refuse to disclose the information, citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA and harm to third party business interests under s. 21 of FIPPA. The Ministry also withheld a small amount of other information, stating that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry is required to refuse to disclose some information under s. 12 because it would reveal the substance of Treasury Board deliberations, either directly or by inference. Section 12 does not require the Ministry to refuse to disclose subject headings. Section 21 does not require the Ministry to refuse to disclose parts of a business case report. Further, s. 22 does not require the Ministry to refuse to disclose employment history information about a Ministry employee.
Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner
Dec 23, 2014
A journalist requested administrative records about himself that were generated or received by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner within a specified time period. The OPCC withheld some information in a responsive record that was related to the processing of a previous access request the journalist had made to the OPCC, on the basis that disclosure of the information would reveal policy advice or recommendations (s. 13 of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that the OPCC was authorized to refuse to disclose all of the information withheld under s. 13.
City of Victoria
Dec 22, 2014
The City had applied to the Commissioner for authority under s. 43 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The applicant, one of the parties against whom s. 43 had been sought, requested access to City records relating to that application. The City disclosed some records but withheld others. Section 14 authorizes the City to withhold information that it withheld on the basis of privilege.
Thompson Rivers University
Dec 18, 2014
A professor at Thompson Rivers University requested records of the committee that considered his application for a promotion. The adjudicator found that all of the records were assembled for and integral to the committee’s deliberations, that they consisted of advice or recommendations and that s. 13(1) therefore applied to them.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Dec 18, 2014
The respondent asked the British Columbia Lottery Corporation for copies of BCLC staff invoices and receipts for client promotions and hospitality. BCLC refused to disclose players’ names and ID numbers under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The respondent was not satisfied with this response and asked that this matter proceed to inquiry. BCLC requested the Commissioner exercise her discretion under s. 56 to not hold an inquiry. The adjudicator found that it was not plain and obvious that disclosure of the players’ personal information would be an invasion of their personal privacy under s. 22; therefore, BCLC’s request that an inquiry not be held is denied.
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Dec 17, 2014
The applicant requested records related to the Province’s decision to contribute funding to Whistler Sports Legacies. The Ministry withheld some information from the responsive records, citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was required to refuse to disclose most of the information in dispute under s. 12(1) because it would reveal the substance of Treasury Board deliberations or allow someone to draw accurate inferences about the substance of those deliberations. However, the adjudicator ordered some of the information to be disclosed because it was background explanation to the Treasury Board for its consideration in making decisions which have been implemented and made public, so s. 12(2)(c) applied.
BC Pavilion Corporation
Dec 16, 2014
An applicant requested contracts related to soccer events held at BC Place Stadium. The BC Pavilion Corporation located a contract with the Canadian Soccer Association for the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying event. It withheld the amount of insurance coverage the Association agreed to obtain, the number of complimentary tickets that PavCo and the Association could use, and the daily rental fee the Association agreed to pay for the use of BC Place. The adjudicator determined that disclosure of the withheld information would not be harmful to the financial or economic interests of PavCo or to the government of British Columbia under s. 17(1) and 17(1)(f) of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered PavCo to disclose the information.
City of New Westminster
Dec 16, 2014
The applicant requested financial records related to a building complex. During mediation and the inquiry process, the City disclosed all the information in dispute except for the proposed price for an air space parcel required to build an office tower. The City withheld this information under ss. 17(1)(b) and (f) of FIPPA on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the financial or economic interests of the City. The proposed price was intended for a private partner who then withdrew from the project. The adjudicator determined that the City was not authorized to continue to withhold the proposed price. The evidence did not satisfy the adjudicator that the proposed price still had monetary value or that disclosing it could reasonably be expected to harm the City’s negotiating position with respect to the sale of the air space parcel.
App marketplaces should make links to privacy policies mandatory, says Commissioner
Dec 10, 2014
App marketplaces should require mobile app developers to post links to privacy policies prior to download if they’re going to collect personal information, B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said today.
Joint Open Letter to App Marketplaces
Dec 10, 2014
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC is among 23 privacy authorities from around the world who have signed an open letter to the operators of seven app marketplaces urging them to make links to privacy policies mandatory for apps that collect personal information. The December 9, 2014 letter was sent to Apple, Google, Samsung, Microsoft, Nokia, BlackBerry and Amazon.com, but is intended for all companies that operate app marketplaces.
Meeting of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities in Vancouver Dec. 1-4, 2014
Dec 3, 2014
The 42nd Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum was hosted by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia in Vancouver on 1-4 December 2014.
Submission to the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act
Nov 26, 2014
The Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) is a balanced and effective law that protects the personal information of individuals while at the same time recognizes the tight of organizations to collect, use and disclose such information.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding a privacy breach at Vancouver Island Health Authority
Nov 26, 2014
VICTORIA—B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to numerous inquiries about a privacy breach involving the Vancouver Island Health Authority
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority
Nov 26, 2014
The applicant requested records from the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (“Translink”) for costs he said Translink incurred investigating a workplace dispute and responding to a human rights complaint. In response to the applicant's request, Translink advised the applicant that it was unable to confirm or deny the existence of any responsive records on the basis that disclosure of the existence of the requested information would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party's personal privacy (s. 8(2)(b) of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that Translink was authorized to refuse to confirm or deny the existence of the requested records.
Commissioner's Address to the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act
Nov 26, 2014
Commissioner Denham's presentation to the Special Committee to review the Personal Information Protection Act on November 26, 2014.
Letter from Privacy Commissioners of Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Macau regarding Insecam webcam website
Nov 21, 2014
The Privacy Commissioner of Canada and the heads of the data protection authorities of the United Kingdom, Australia and Macao, as well as the Commissioners of Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, sent the following letter to operators of a website that has posted links to footage of unsecured surveillance videos from remote access webcams in use around the world.
Canadian Forest Products Ltd.
Nov 17, 2014
The applicant requested information from Canadian Forest Products Ltd. in relation to a workplace investigation. Canfor withheld portions of an investigation report under ss. 23(4)(c) and (d) of PIPA. The adjudicator determined that Canfor was required to withhold all of the withheld information under s. 23(4)(c) because disclosure would reveal personal information about one or more individuals other than the applicant.
Canada's access to information and privacy guardians urge governments to better protect and promote rights of Canadians in digital era
Nov 14, 2014
In a joint resolution, Canada’s access to information and privacy guardians said the digital era has brought both tremendous opportunities and new challenges for access and privacy rights. Governments, they say, must show bold leadership now more than ever to ensure the continued relevance of access to information, while still vigilantly protecting the personal information of Canadians.
Checking References: Guidance for Public Bodies
Nov 10, 2014
Hiring employees who are a good fit for a job is an essential component of the operations of any public body. Knowing how an applicant has performed in a previous workplace is an important part of the hiring process and checking references is a practice that gives the prospective employer some idea of how the applicant might perform in the future.
Delta Police Department
Nov 10, 2014
The applicant requested records relating to a Delta Police Department investigation of a motor vehicle collision she was involved in. The DPD released some information to the applicant, but withheld some on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA. After considering all the relevant factors the adjudicator ordered the DPD to disclose the applicant’s personal information in the records because disclosing it would not be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Health
Nov 4, 2014
The applicant requested access to records related to data sharing and research agreements between the Ministry of Health and four individuals, including information about delays or impediments to accessing data for research purposes. The Ministry refused to disclose some information in the responsive records under ss. 13, 15(1)(a), 15(1)(l) and 22 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”). The Ministry established that disclosure of some of the information at issue could reasonably be expected to harm a computer system, so could be withheld under s. 15(1)(l). However, the Ministry did not prove that disclosure would be harmful to law enforcement, so it was not authorized to refuse to disclose information under s. 15(1)(a). Nor did the Ministry establish that it was authorized under s. 13 to withhold policy advice or recommendations because that information had already been disclosed elsewhere in the records. Finally, the adjudicator ordered disclosure of most of the information that was withheld under s. 22(1) because disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy.
University of British Columbia
Nov 4, 2014
The applicant requested access to University of British Columbia Research Ethics Board records related to clinical trials. The adjudicator determined that the responsive records are outside the scope of FIPPA because the records contain research information of UBC researchers under s. 3(1)(e) of FIPPA.
An Adjudication under Section 62 of the Act , Requested by J.P. on March 22, 2013
Oct 30, 2014
J.P. (the "Applicant") has applied pursuant to s. 62 of the Freedom of Information and Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, C. 165 (the "Act") for review of a decision made by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (the "Commissioner") of March 8, 2013 by refusing him access to records used by the Office of the Commissioner ("OIPC") in its investigation into his complaint that the Post 83 Housing Cooperative Association had disclosed his personal information contrary to the Personal Information Protection Act, S.B.C. 2003, c. 63 ("PIPA").
Statement of the Privacy and Information Commissioners of Canada on National Security and Law Enforcement Matters
Oct 29, 2014
Statement issued by Canada's Privacy and Information Commissioners at their annual meeting October 28-29, 2014.
Workers' Compensation Appeals Tribunal
Oct 3, 2014
The applicant, on behalf of his adult daughter, requested access to records related to the daughter’s claims and appeals before WCAT. WCAT refused to disclose some of the requested information under ss. 3(1)(b), 13 and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that some of the records were outside the scope of FIPPA because they were communications and draft decisions of individuals acting in a quasi-judicial capacity, so s. 3(1)(b) applied. Further, WCAT was authorized under s. 13(1) to refuse disclosure of some of the information contained in the records because it was advice or recommendations developed by or for WCAT. The adjudicator also found that WCAT was required to continue to refuse to disclose all of the personal information withheld under s. 22(1).
Letter to Jim Lightbody regarding BCLC Investigation re resignation of former CEO and President
Oct 1, 2014
Members of the public have raised concerns with my office regarding whether former British Columbia Lottery Corporation (“BCLC”) CEO and President Michael Graydon had inappropriate access to BCLC’s networks after his resignation earlier this year. In response to these concerns, my office initiated an investigation of this issue on July 22, 2014, in accordance with my authority under s. 42(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”).
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Sep 25, 2014
The applicant requested access to his deceased father’s health records from Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. VCHA withheld the responsive records on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that VCHA was required to withhold all of the responsive records, except one, under s. 22 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Finance(BC Public Service Agency)
Sep 24, 2014
The applicant requested records about a named employee of the BC public service. The request was responded to by the BC Public Service Agency, part of the Ministry of Finance, which withheld the responsive records from the employee’s personnel file on the basis disclosure was an unreasonable invasion of privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of the information about the named employee’s position, functions and remuneration because it would not be an unreasonable invasion of the employee’s privacy under s. 22(4)(e) of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry must continue to withhold the remaining information because there is a presumption that disclosure of the information would be an unreasonable invasion of the named employee’s privacy under s. 22(3) and the presumption was not rebutted by any factors, including those in s. 22(2) of FIPPA.
BC Housing
Sep 24, 2014
The applicant, a journalist, sought purchasing card expense receipts of BC Housing employees. BC Housing provided the applicant with a fee estimate. The applicant asked BC Housing to waive the fee estimate since in his opinion the records he was requesting were in the public interest. BC Housing denied his request for a public interest fee waiver. The Adjudicator determined that a portion of the requested records relate to a matter of public interest and their dissemination through articles published by the applicant would yield a public benefit. A partial fee waiver is warranted in this case.
Government takes a step backward on timely responses to access to information requests
Sep 23, 2014
The B.C. government has taken a step backward in providing timely responses to access to information requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, according to a special report issued today by Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
A Step Backwards: Report Card on Government's Access to Information Responses April 1, 2013- March 31, 2014
Sep 23, 2014
This special report addresses three issues. The first is an examination of the timeliness of government responses to access to information requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Second, this report revisits the issue of “no responsive records” replies to general access to information requests. Third, this report examines government’s issuance of fee estimates in response to access requests.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release special report
Sep 22, 2014
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a special report entitled A Step Backwards: Report Card on Government’s Access to Information Responses.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner on Right to Know Week
Sep 19, 2014
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham released the following statement in honour of Right to Know Week
Commissioner's Address to the BC Information Summit
Sep 19, 2014
Commissioner's address to the BC Information Summit - September 2014
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Sep 18, 2014
The applicant requested records relating to the water flow of a creek and tributaries for the period from 1965 to 1996. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations released most of the responsive records, but withheld information that would identify individuals in relation to water use and water use complaints. The information was withheld on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 22 does not apply to most of the withheld information given the context and content of the information, and ordered the Ministry to disclose it. However, the adjudicator determined that s. 22 applies to a small amount of information, and ordered the Ministry to withhold it under s. 22
British Columbia Pavilion Corp
Sep 18, 2014
The applicant requested records about the new roof at BC Place Stadium. PavCo withheld some of the information in responsive records on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body (s. 17 of FIPPA) and that disclosure would be harmful to the business interests of a third party (s. 21). The adjudicator determined that PavCo was not authorized to refuse to disclose some of the information it withheld under s. 17 and that it was not required to refuse to disclose any of the information it withheld under s. 21. The adjudicator also determined that s. 25 applied to some of the information PavCo withheld under s. 21 because disclosure is clearly in the public interest and ordered PavCo to disclose that information forthwith.
City of Coquitlam
Sep 17, 2014
An applicant requested records from the City of Coquitlam regarding bylaw infraction complaints about a property occupied by the applicant. The City disclosed most of the information but withheld complainant identity information and some other information under ss. 12(3)(a), 13, 14, 15(1)(d) and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that ss. 14 or 22 of FIPPA applied to nearly all of the withheld information in dispute. While s. 22 did not apply to a small amount of information withheld under s. 22, it was not necessary to consider the application of ss. 12, 13 or 15 to the records because all of the information withheld under those sections falls under ss. 14 or 22.
City of Vancouver
Sep 12, 2014
The applicant requested information relating to the Burrard Street Bridge. The City released some routine inspection records but withheld portions of eleven engineering reports about different aspects of the bridge, citing ss. 13, 15, 17, 19 and 21 of FIPPA. The Adjudicator ordered the records disclosed because none of the exceptions to disclosure in FIPPA applied.
B.C. app developers need to do a better job of providing privacy information to users, says Commissioner
Sep 10, 2014
Results of the second annual Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) privacy sweep show that application developers need to do a much better job of providing privacy information to consumers, B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham said today.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Sep 8, 2014
The applicant requested information from ICBC relating to a claim she made concerning a motor vehicle accident. ICBC released some information but withheld other information under ss. 3(1)(c), 13, 14, 17 and 22 of FIPPA. ICBC is authorized to withhold most of the information it withheld under s. 14 of FIPPA because it is subject to solicitor-client privilege. ICBC is required to withhold some information it withheld under s. 22 of FIPPA because releasing the information would be an unreasonable invasion of third parties’ personal privacy. Some information does not need to be disclosed because it is outside of the scope of FIPPA under s. 3(1)(c) of the Act. The remaining information must be disclosed.
Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Operations
Sep 8, 2014
The applicant requested records related to the removal of a dam, including its environmental impacts on a nearby lake. The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations disclosed most of the records, but withheld two email chains on the basis that they were subject to solicitor client privilege (s. 14 of FIPPA). The applicant alleges that s. 25 of FIPPA requires disclosure of this information on the basis that it is about a risk of significant harm to the environment or that disclosure is clearly in the public interest. The adjudicator found that s. 25 does not apply and the Ministry was authorized to withhold the records because they are subject to solicitor client privilege.
City of Vancouver
Sep 8, 2014
The City of Vancouver awarded a contract for pay-by-phone parking services following a request for proposals. The applicant requested a list of RFP proponents, including their identities and the value of each their proposals. The City created a record in response but withheld some information related to the value of each proposal and information that disclosed the term of the previous pay-by-phone parking services contract it awarded because it believed disclosure would be harmful to the financial or economic interests of a public body (s. 17(1)(d) and (f) of FIPPA) and harmful to the business interests of a third party (s. 21(1) of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that these sections do not apply and ordered the City to disclose the information.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development
Sep 3, 2014
The applicant requested information and details regarding the care and cause of death of her daughter, who passed away while in foster care 34 years ago. The Ministry of Children and Family Development withheld information on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 22 did not apply in the circumstances, so the Ministry was required to disclose the responsive records. The adjudicator also ordered the Ministry to process the applicant’s request for the information in responsive records that the Ministry had marked out of scope.
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Sep 3, 2014
The applicant requested records related to the processing of a previous request for records. The Ministry released 33 pages of records but withheld a further 10 pages on the basis they were subject to solicitor-client privilege. The adjudicator found that the Ministry was authorized under s. 14 of FIPPA to withhold the 10 pages of records.
City of Vancouver
Aug 28, 2014
A journalist requested records related to the City of Vancouver’s closed circuit television system. The City refused to disclose some of the requested information under ss. 13, 14, 15, 17 and 19. The adjudicator found that the City was authorized to refuse to disclose some information under s. 13 (policy advice or recommendations) and other information under s. 14 (legal advice). However, the adjudicator found that the City had not established that disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in the harms in s. 15 (harm to law enforcement), s. 17 (harm to the City’s financial or economic interests) or s. 19 (harm to public safety). In addition, the adjudicator ordered the City to process, under Part 2, Division 2 of FIPPA, the information that it incorrectly withheld from the records as being not responsive, repeats and examples.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Aug 21, 2014
An applicant, a lawyer, sought records relating to court applications by ICBC for personal costs against him. The personal costs applications arose from a motor vehicle accident claim in which the applicant was counsel. ICBC withheld the records under s. 13 and all of the records save one page under s. 14 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that all of the information withheld under s. 14 as subject to solicitor-client privilege could be withheld. ICBC was required to disclose the information it withheld in the remaining page of the records because it did not contain advice or recommendations under s. 13 of FIPPA.
BC Information and Privacy Commissioner to investigate whether government should have notified the public about potential risks at Mount Polley mine
Aug 14, 2014
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will investigate whether government should have notified the public about potential risks relating to the Mount Polley mine under section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Jul 30, 2014
Compass Group requested a review of Vancouver Island Health Authority’s decision to disclose its contracts with VIHA to the applicant Hospital Employees’ Union. Compass argued disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm its business interests. The adjudicator determined that the information in the contract was not supplied in confidence within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b) of FIPPA, and VIHA was ordered to disclose the contracts.
Ministry of Justice
Jul 28, 2014
The complainant applied for a job with the Ministry and provided the names of references. The Ministry chose to speak to other individuals instead, without advising the complainant or obtaining her consent to do so. The complainant alleged that this was a collection of her personal information contrary to s. 26 and s. 27 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the collection of the personal information in question is not expressly authorized under an Act [s. 26(a)]. Further, while the personal information relates directly to the Ministry’s hiring activities, it is not necessary for that activity [s. 26(c)]. The adjudicator also considered the manner in which the personal information was collected and found that the indirect collection was not authorized under the provisions claimed by the Ministry [ss. 27(1)(a)(iii) and 27(1)(b) in combination with ss. 33.1(1)(c) and (e) and ss. 33.2 (a), (c) and (d)]. The adjudicator orders the Ministry to stop collecting personal information in contravention of FIPPA and to destroy the personal information collected.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Jul 28, 2014
The applicant requested information from the Vancouver Island Health Authority relating to VIHA’s decision-making process concerning fixed site needle exchange services in Greater Victoria. VIHA withheld information under ss. 12(3)(b), 13, 14 and 22 of FIPPA. It also withheld other information on the basis that the information was outside of the scope of the applicant’s request. The adjudicator was not satisfied that s. 12(3)(b) applies. However, he determined that ss. 14 and 22 apply to all of the information withheld under those sections and that s. 13 applies to most of the information withheld under that section. The adjudicator also ordered VIHA to process the applicant’s request for the information it had marked out of scope.
BC Securities Commission
Jul 25, 2014
The British Columbia Securities Commission applied for authorization to disregard the respondent’s request for records and any similar requests he may make in the future because they are frivolous or vexatious under s. 43(b) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the access request and any similar future requests are not frivolous or vexatious under s. 43(b). The application was dismissed.
Ministry of Justice (Office of the Superintendant of Motor Vehicles)
Jul 25, 2014
The Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles, which is part of the Ministry of Justice, withheld portions of its Adjudication Procedures Manual that outlines possible grounds for successfully reviewing an impaired driving prohibition. The Ministry submitted that release of the information could reasonably be expected to harm a law enforcement matter under s. 15(1)(a) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the OSMV adjudicator function of reviewing impaired driving prohibitions did not qualify as a “law enforcement” function as defined in FIPPA. The Ministry also did not establish that disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to harm the enforcement of the impaired driving prohibition regime for the purposes of s. 15(1)(a) of FIPPA. For these reasons the information must be disclosed.
Ministry of Justice (Civil Forfeiture Office)
Jul 23, 2014
The applicant requested information regarding the Civil Forfeiture Office. The Ministry withheld the names of the Civil Forfeiture Office’s employees because it believed that disclosure would endanger their lives or physical safety (s. 15(1)(f)) and disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten their safety or mental or physical health (s.19(1)(a)). The adjudicator found that neither s. 15(1)(f) nor s. 19(1)(a) authorized refusing to disclose the names of the employees. The Ministry also withheld the résumé of the Civil Forfeiture Office’s former director because it believed that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of his personal privacy (s. 22). The adjudicator found that the former director’s résumé must be withheld under s. 22.
Ministry of Justice (Civil Forfeiture Office)
Jul 23, 2014
The applicant requested all records related to the Ministry’s processing of an earlier request for records regarding the Civil Forfeiture Office. The Ministry refused to disclose to the applicant two names and one work telephone number of the Civil Forfeiture Office’s employees because it believed that disclosure would endanger their lives or physical safety (s. 15(1)(f)) and disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the employees’ safety or mental or physical health (s.19(1)(a)). The adjudicator found that neither s. 15(1)(f) or s.19(1)(a) authorized refusing to disclose the information in dispute.
A Failure to Archive: Recommendations to Modernize Government Information Management
Jul 22, 2014
Archiving is a public good. Records about key actions and decisions of government must be preserved in a lasting historical record for future generations. Without a comprehensive public archive, access to information and the ‘right to know’ is significantly and severely impaired.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner calls on the B.C. government to fix 10-year archiving impasse and modernize records management
Jul 22, 2014
In a special report released today, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is calling on the B.C. government to resolve an archiving impasse that has left tens of thousands of boxes of government records languishing in warehouses.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release special report on archives
Jul 21, 2014
On July 22, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a special report, entitled A Failure to Archive: Recommendations to Modernize Government Records Management.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Jun 30, 2014
The applicant journalist requested documents about the rationale for changes to the tolling framework for the Port Mann Bridge. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure withheld information in three records citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA, and some information in one record it said constituted advice and recommendations under s. 13 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was authorized to withhold some of the information under s. 12(1) because disclosure would reveal the substance of the deliberations of Cabinet. Other information must be released because it was either not covered by s. 12(1) or was background material and analysis under s. 12(2)(c). Section 13 did not need to be considered because the information to which it had been applied was protected under s. 12 of FIPPA.
District of Mission
Jun 30, 2014
The applicant requested proposals submitted in response to a District of Mission RFP for gravel extraction. At the time of the inquiry, no contract had been awarded in response to the RFP. The District withheld the proposals under s. 21(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator required the District to continue to refuse access to most of the information in the proposals but to disclose information that is publicly available or is of a general nature.
Editorial: Residential school survivors must decide the fate of their testimony
Jun 26, 2014
As information and privacy commissioners responsible for adjudicating the collective ’right to know’ and the protection of personal privacy, we believe that any decisions made concerning the final disposition of sensitive residential school records should be guided by long-established and foundational privacy principles.
Disclosure of student personal information to BCTF representatives
Jun 24, 2014
The following letter was sent to the BC School Superintendents Association, the BC School Trustees Association and the BC Teachers Federation
Ministry of Health
Jun 19, 2014
An applicant requested records about himself and the British Columbia Onsite Sewage Association from the Ministry of Health. The Ministry withheld responsive records on the basis that: disclosure would reveal policy advice or recommendations (s. 13), solicitor-client privilege applies (s. 14), and disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties (s. 22). The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was authorized or required to withhold most of the records under these sections, but it was ordered to disclose some records. The adjudicator also determined the Ministry failed to exercise its discretion for the records withheld under s. 13 and ordered it to do so.
University of Northern British Columbia
Jun 19, 2014
A former University of Northern British Columbia (“UNBC”) student requested investigation materials in relation to complaints he made about a UNBC faculty member. UNBC withheld most of the responsive records on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of third parties (s. 22). The adjudicator required UNBC to withhold some information in the records. However, there was other information UNBC was required to disclose.
British Columbia Ferry Services Incorporated
Jun 19, 2014
The applicant requested information about herself held by BC Ferries, particularly information related to an incident that occurred during her work as an equipment operator. BC Ferries withheld information claiming ss. 13, 15, 19 and 22 of FIPPA exemptions. With the exception of its reliance on s. 13 and a few pages that must be disclosed, BC Ferries properly applied disclosure exemptions to the record.
Updated guidance on the storage of information outside of Canada by public bodies
Jun 16, 2014
Numerous public bodies have sought clarification from this office as to whether the use of tokenization complies with FIPPA. The OIPC recently provided detailed advice to the BC Government regarding tokenization as it applies to a specific proposed program. Given the considerable interest in this topic, we have decided to make this letter a matter of public record.
Commissioner Denham welcomes the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in R v Spencer
Jun 16, 2014
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in R. v. Spencer:
Letter to the editor regarding social media background checks
Jun 12, 2014
As the Information and Privacy Commissioners for Alberta and British Columbia, we are concerned that Ms. Wood's story may encourage organizations to implement social media background checks without fully understanding the privacy and legal implications of doing so.
News and Views from BC's Information and Privacy Commissioner
Jun 10, 2014
No summary available.
Privacy Management: In Enterprise We Trust
Jun 4, 2014
No summary available.
Follow-up letter to the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act
Jun 3, 2014
I am writing as a follow-up to my presentation to the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”) on May 28, 2014, to provide responses to three questions posed by a member of the Committee.
Letter from Commissioners Cavoukian, Clayton, and Denham to the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights regarding testimony on Bill C-13
Jun 2, 2014
The Information and Privacy Commissioners of BC, Alberta and Ontario are deeply concerned that Bill C-13, the cyberbullying and “lawful access” Bill, will pass Committee stage without hearing from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, the Commissioner’s staff, or any other Privacy Commissioner in this country.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency
Jun 2, 2014
A journalist requested records relating to the Pacific Career Training Institutions Agency’s procurement of legal services from Lawson Lundell for a specified legal matter. The adjudicator determined that the Agency is authorized to refuse to disclose the withheld information because it is subject to solicitor client privilege under s. 14 of FIPPA.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency
Jun 2, 2014
A journalist requested copies of legal invoices issued by Lawson Lundell to the Pacific Career Training Institutions Agency in 2012, as well as the proofs of payment by the Agency. The Agency withheld the records on the basis that they were subject to solicitor client privilege (s. 14 of FIPPA). The adjudicator determined that the records are subject to solicitor client privilege.
General Briefing for the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act
May 28, 2014
This document provides the Committee with a brief history of private sector privacy law and a discussion of the current challenges to its effectiveness due to technological change and online security risks. It then gives a general overview of PIPA and the experience to date of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (“OIPC”) in overseeing compliance with PIPA. The last section of the document is a brief discussion of key reform considerations that would improve the ability of the Commissioner to exercise effective oversight and enhance the transparency of disclosures of personal information.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding Bill C-13
May 23, 2014
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham released the following statement in response to media inquiries regarding the federal government Bill C-13, Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
May 15, 2014
The applicant requested information relating to paternity testing conducted at Vancouver General Hospital. Vancouver Coastal Health Authority withheld some records under s. 3(1)(c), s. 14, s. 15(1)(l) and s. 22 of FIPPA. The Adjudicator found that VCHA was authorized to withhold the records withheld under ss. 3(1)(c) and 14 and was required to withhold some records under s. 22 FIPPA. The remaining records must be disclosed.
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
May 15, 2014
The Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services applied under s. 43 of FIPPA to disregard the respondent’s request for message tracking log files from government email servers for a six month period. The responsive information is millions of lines of text. The Ministry argued the respondent’s request is frivolous or vexatious because the respondent is not responsibly exercising his rights under FIPPA and the request is an abuse of the right to access. The adjudicator determined that the request is not frivolous or vexatious, and found s. 43 does not apply.
BC Pavilion Corporation
May 15, 2014
In responding to a request for access to an Agreement between it and the third party, the public body withheld information under both s. 17 and s. 21. Before the inquiry began, the public body took the position that s. 21 did not require it to withhold information. The inquiry proceeded without the third party’s participation. Order F14-05 held that s. 17 did not authorize the public body to withhold information. The third party learned of the order and applied for it to be re-opened, on the basis that the Office is not functus officio and that it should have been given notice under s. 54(b) of the inquiry. The inquiry is re-opened, notice will be given under s. 54(b) and the applicability of s. 21 to information in the record will be considered.
Guidelines for Online Consent
May 8, 2014
Guidance from the BC, Alberta and Federal Privacy Commissioner regarding meaningful consent in an online context. Organizations should have a clear, descriptive and accessible privacy policy and, as circumstances warrant, dynamic privacy explanations, in the course of the user experience.
Federal, British Columbia and Alberta Privacy Commissioner issue new guidelines for online consent
May 8, 2014
New guidelines will help organizations understand the importance of being transparent about their online privacy practices.
On Privacy Awareness Week, Asia Pacific data protection authorities call on citizens to 'mobilize their privacy'
May 2, 2014
May 4 to 10 is Privacy Awareness Week and to mark the occasion, members of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (“APPA”) are encouraging the public to make privacy-positive choices when using mobile devices.
A Prescription for Legislative Reform: Improving Privacy Protection in BC's Health Sector
Apr 30, 2014
The purpose of this special report is encourage an informed dialogue among the public, health practitioners, researchers and government about the use of personal information in B.C.’s health care system, today and into the future.
BC needs new health information law to improve patient care, protect privacy
Apr 30, 2014
The Government of British Columbia should enact a new health information privacy law that allows patients to reap the benefits of health innovation while also protecting privacy, says B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
Op-Ed: A Prescription for Legislative Reform needed in health care system
Apr 30, 2014
Doctors treat the whole patient and not a specific condition; similarly, government needs to take a holistic approach to the collection, use, disclosure and protection of personal health information and patient data by introducing a health information law with clear and consistent rules for the public and the private sector. This is one of 21 recommendations I am making to ensure B.C.’s health information and privacy rules are up to the challenge of the digital age.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release special report
Apr 29, 2014
On April 30 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a special report, entitled A Prescription for Legislative Reform: Improving Privacy Protection in BC’s Health Sector.
Use of Police Information Checks in British Columbia
Apr 15, 2014
This report examines the increasing use of employment-related record checks, specifically what are known as police information checks.
Stop disclosing non-conviction information in employment-related record checks, says B.C. Privacy Commissioner
Apr 15, 2014
Government and municipal police boards should immediately direct police forces to stop disclosing non-conviction information as part of employment-related records checks outside the vulnerable sector, says B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham.
Heartbleed: What you need to do to protect yourself
Apr 11, 2014
The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been following the Heartbleed exploit developments closely. We want to make sure that individuals and organizations are taking the necessary steps to protect personal information in the wake of this incident.
Letter to Hon. Andrew Wilkinson regarding designation of BCACP and BCAMCP under FIPPA (includes all public submissions)
Apr 2, 2014
Letter to Hon. Andrew Wilkinson regarding Designation of BC Association of Chiefs of Police and the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding the results of government's public consultation on the BC Services Card
Apr 1, 2014
Comprehensive privacy protection must be at the heart of the design and architecture of the BC Services Card.
Letter to Minister Pat Pimm regarding Bill 19 - Animal Health Act
Apr 1, 2014
Letter to Hon. Pat Pimm regarding Bill 19, Animal Health Act
Ministry of Justice
Apr 1, 2014
The applicant journalist requested documents about possible changes to liquor distribution in BC. The Ministry responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch withheld information in three documents citing Cabinet confidences under s. 12 of FIPPA, and that the withheld information constituted advice and recommendations under s. 13 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that s. 12 or s. 13 applied to most of the withheld information. Neither s. 12 nor s. 13 applied to a small amount of the withheld information in two of the three documents, so that information could be released to the applicant.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development
Mar 19, 2014
The applicant requested a copy of all medical information and family history about her grandfather’s first cousin, who has been deceased for 42 years. The Ministry of Children and Family Development withheld the responsive records on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator determined that the Ministry was not required to withhold most of the responsive records.
University of British Columbia
Mar 19, 2014
A student requested an investigation report by the University of British Columbia relating to a sexual assault and harassment complaint that the student made against a faculty member. UBC disclosed portions of the report, but withheld other portions on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of third parties under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator concluded that UBC was required to refuse to disclose most of the withheld information.
Letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak regarding Bill 18, Water Sustainability Act
Mar 12, 2014
Letter to Environment Minister Mary Polak regarding Bill 18, 2014 - Water Sustainability Act
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Mar 6, 2014
A resident at a VCHA supportive housing facility requested all information relating to him from VCHA. VCHA disclosed some information but withheld parts of two Occupational Safety and Health reports on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of a third party caregiver. The adjudicator required VCHA to continue to withhold the information in the reports.
Leveraging the Transparency Effect in Police Governance
Feb 28, 2014
Keynote Speech by Information & Privacy Commissioner to BC Association of Police Boards
City of Rossland
Feb 27, 2014
The applicant requested copies of complaints sent to the City of Rossland’s external auditor about concerns with City financial matters and related correspondence. The City disclosed most of the responsive records, but withheld an excerpt of a complaint from a City councillor to the auditor on the basis that disclosure would reveal the substance of in camera council meeting deliberations (s. 12(3)(b)) and would also be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy (s. 22). The City also withheld the name of the person at the auditor’s office to whom the complaint letter was addressed on the basis that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the individual’s personal privacy (s. 22). The adjudicator determined that the City was authorized to withhold the excerpt of the complaint because it would reveal the substance of deliberations of the in camera council meetings, but ordered the City to disclose the name of the person in the auditor’s office.
Pamela S. Boles Law Corporation
Feb 26, 2014
The applicant requested the organization provide her access to her personal information and an explanation on how her personal information was collected, used and disclosed. The organization failed to meet its obligations under ss. 28 and 29(1) of PIPA. The organization was ordered to respond to the applicant on or before March 7, 2014.
BC Pavilion Corporation ("PavCo")
Feb 24, 2014
The applicant requested copies of all resignation letters received by PavCo during the September 2011 to September 2012 operating year. PavCo claimed that it was required under s. 22(1) of FIPPA to refuse disclosure of the letters because they contain personal information that relates to employment, occupational or educational history and disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy. PavCo correctly denied the applicant access to the personal information and it must be severed from the remaining portions of the record.
BC Pavilion Corporation ("PavCo")
Feb 24, 2014
The applicant requested a copy of the agreement between PavCo and the BC Lions for the use of BC Place Stadium. PavCo refused to release some portions of the agreement under s. 17(1) of FIPPA, claiming that disclosure would harm its financial or economic interests. The adjudicator found that s. 17(1) did not apply to the agreement.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Feb 20, 2014
The applicant sought access to information in a successful proponent’s proposal to provide pharmacy distribution services. The Provincial Health Services Authority had withheld the information under s. 21 of FIPPA because it concluded disclosure would harm the proponent’s business interests. The adjudicator found that s. 21 of FIPPA did not apply to some information in the proposal because the parties had incorporated the information into the contract that arose from the proposal. Some other parts of the proposal could not be withheld because the harm required by s. 21 was not established; the remainder of the proposal could be withheld under s. 21.
Venture Academy Inc.
Feb 20, 2014
Venture Academy Inc. applied for authorization under ss. 37(a) and (b) of PIPA to disregard the respondent’s outstanding and future requests for access to, and correction of, her personal information. The adjudicator finds that s. 37(a) does not apply as the respondent’s outstanding request is not repetitious or systemic, and s. 37(b) does not apply because the outstanding request is not frivolous or vexatious. The application is denied.
Report of the Health Data Research Forum
Feb 14, 2014
On December 9, 2013, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia and the B.C. Ministry of Health convened a meeting of 38 representatives from the health research community and its stakeholders in British Columbia. The attendees were invited to come together to discuss and seek solutions on timely access to, and appropriate use of, health data under the stewardship of the MoH and health authorities for research, evaluation, planning and quality improvement while maintaining academic independence and enhancing privacy protections and security safeguards.
Letter to Justice Minister Suzanne Anton QC regarding the Missing Persons Act
Feb 14, 2014
Commissioner's comments on Bill 3, Missing Persons Act, tabled in the BC Legislature Feb. 13, 2014.
The Transparency Effect
Feb 7, 2014
Opening address to the 15th Annual Privacy and Security Conference, Victoria, BC, February 7, 2014
Statement from Commissioner regarding B.C. Privacy and Security Awareness Day
Feb 5, 2014
I am pleased to join privacy and security experts, advocates, governments, and businesses in celebrating the first-ever B.C. Privacy and Security Awareness Day taking place on Feb. 6.
January 28 is Data Privacy Day
Jan 27, 2014
Data Privacy Day is a global effort to raise awareness about the importance of valuing and protecting personal information, and to highlight the impact technology is having on individual privacy.
Ministry of Justice
Jan 23, 2014
A member of the Legislative Assembly of BC requested information from the Ministry related to the decision to fund the legal expenses of two ministerial assistants who were charged with criminal offences. He argued that disclosure of the records was clearly in the public interest (s. 25). The Ministry withheld some of the responsive records claiming they were protected by solicitor-client privilege (s. 14) and others because it believed disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third-party personal privacy (s. 22). The ministerial assistants argued that all of the information in dispute should be withheld under ss. 14 and 22. The adjudicator finds that s. 25(1)(b) does not apply to the responsive records. The adjudicator also finds that the Ministry is authorized to refuse access to all of the information in dispute under s. 14 because it is protected by solicitor-client privilege. In light of the conclusion that s. 14 applies to all of the disputed information, there is no need to consider s. 22.
Ministry of Justice
Jan 23, 2014
The applicant requested information related to the Province’s decision to fund the legal expenses of two ministerial assistants who were charged with criminal offences. The Ministry withheld some of the responsive records claiming they were protected by solicitor-client privilege (s. 14) and others because it believed disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third-party personal privacy (s. 22). The ministerial assistants argued that all of the information in dispute should be withheld under ss. 14 and 22. The adjudicator finds that the Ministry is authorized to refuse access to all of the information in dispute under s. 14 because it is protected by solicitor-client privilege. In light of the conclusion that s. 14 applies to all of the disputed information, there is no need to consider s. 22.
Public agencies need a strong business case for video or audio surveillance
Jan 22, 2014
Public agencies must make a strong business case and establish the proper legal authorities before implementing audio or video surveillance, according to guidelines issued today by the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Jan 16, 2014
Compass Group requested a review of Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s decision to disclose its contract with VCHA to the applicant Hospital Employees’ Union. Compass argued disclosure would harm its business interests. The adjudicator determined that the information in the contract was not supplied in confidence within the meaning of s. 21(1)(b) of FIPPA, and VCHA was ordered to disclose the contract.
City of North Vancouver
Dec 19, 2013
The applicants requested records relating to an investigation into their complaint that City officials improperly entered duplex units owned by the applicants. The City disclosed some records, but withheld portions of a memo on the basis that the withheld information was policy advice or recommendations, legal advice, and information that would unreasonably invade third party personal privacy if disclosed. The adjudicator determined that these sections applied to most of the withheld information, but ordered that some information be released.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Dec 19, 2013
Retirement Concepts Senior Services requested a review of Vancouver Island Health Authority’s decision to disclose certain financial statements to an applicant union. Retirement Concepts stated that disclosure of the records would harm its business interests under s. 21 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that s. 21 did not apply because there was no harm within the meaning of s. 21(1)(c).
Letter from Commissioner Denham to stakeholders regarding the BC Association of Chiefs of Police and the BC Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police
Dec 11, 2013
I am writing to seek your comments regarding a possible recommendation to add the British Columbia Association of Chiefs of Police (BCACP) and the British Columbia Association of Municipal Chiefs of Police (BCAMCP) as “public bodies” to Schedule 2 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), as per my authority under section 42(1)(e) of the Act.
Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
Dec 6, 2013
Weyerhaeuser applied for authority to disregard access and correction requests from a former employee under s. 37 of PIPA. The adjudicator authorized Weyerhaeuser to disregard the outstanding and future requests.
City of Vancouver
Dec 6, 2013
The City of Vancouver failed to respond to requests for records by two applicants within the timelines required by FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the City breached ss. 6(1) and 7 of FIPPA, and ordered the City to respond to the requests for records by a specified deadline.
Labour Relations Board
Dec 6, 2013
The applicant requested information compiled by a Labour Relations Board (“Board”) Industrial Relations Officer relating to a union’s application for certification. The Board withheld most of the information, asserting that FIPPA did not apply because s. 61(2)(b) of the ATA applied. The Board also argued that if FIPPA did apply, the information must be withheld either under s. 21 of FIPPA, because disclosure would reveal labour relations information supplied in confidence to a person appointed to inquire into a labour relations dispute; or under s. 22 of FIPPA because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of a third party’s privacy. The Adjudicator found that the ATA does not apply to the information, so FIPPA does apply and most of the information must be withheld under s. 21 of FIPPA. A small amount of information in a memo was not “supplied” under s. 21, does not contain personal information for the purpose of s. 22, and therefore cannot be withheld.
Private Career Training Institutions Agency of British Columbia
Dec 6, 2013
PCTIA identified a series of reports as responsive to an applicant’s request for information about three private colleges. PCTIA provided notice to the owner of the colleges, Eminata Group, that it planned to disclose the reports to the applicant. Eminata requested a review of PCTIA’s decision because it believed disclosure would harm its interests under s. 21 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found s. 21 applied to some of Eminata’s enrolment information in the reports. The adjudicator also ordered PCTIA to withhold some information because it would unreasonably invade third parties’ personal privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA if released. The rest of the information in the reports was ordered disclosed.
Public Body Disclosure of information under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
Dec 2, 2013
Section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) contains two grounds upon which public bodies are obligated to provide the public with timely information. One is where there is a significant risk of harm to the environment or to health or safety of the public and the other is where this information is, for any other reason, clearly in the public interest. These provisions override every other provision of FIPPA.
Commissioner recommends changes to freedom-of-information law
Dec 2, 2013
In response to allegations that public bodies are failing in their duty to warn the public about health and safety concerns, a new report from B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner is recommending changes to freedom-of-information law to strengthen proactive disclosure requirements.
Commissioner to release report on disclosure of risks to health and safety
Nov 29, 2013
On Monday, Dec. 2 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release an investigation report on the topic of disclosures of risks to health and safety and matters in the public interest mandated by section 25 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”).
OIPC launches website survey
Nov 28, 2013
We want your feedback on how our new website is working. Click here for a link to the survey.
Forensic Psychiatric Services Commission
Nov 26, 2013
The applicant sought access to the clinical progress notes made by his court-ordered psychiatrist. The Commission refused to disclose the responsive records because it said disclosure could reasonably be expected to threaten the psychiatrist’s health and safety, under s. 19(1)(a) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the Commission is authorized to refuse to disclose to the applicant the information withheld under s. 19(1)(a).
The Employment Relationship as the Privacy Laboratory
Nov 22, 2013
Commissioner's keynote presentation to the Privacy, Law and the Contemporary Workplace Conference
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding Supreme Court of Canada decision
Nov 15, 2013
The Supreme Court upheld the Alberta Court of Appeal’s decision to quash a ruling of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta restricting the video taping of persons crossing a union picket line.
City of Powell River
Nov 14, 2013
The applicant requested copies of communications between the City of Powell River and its auditor related to a complaint the applicant made to the City about a barge facility. The adjudicator found that the City was permitted to withhold two legal opinions under s. 14, and parts of an email by the City’s auditor that contains expert opinion and advice under s. 13 of FIPPA. The adjudicator required the City to disclose a draft letter by the City’s auditor containing information already released by the City, three emails from a Councillor and parts of an email from the City’s auditor.
Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services
Nov 7, 2013
The applicant requested information from the Ministry related to a Notice of Intent advising of the Province’s plan to directly award contracts for telecommunications and other services to TELUS. The Ministry notified TELUS of its intention to disclose all of the information to the applicant. TELUS requested a review of the Ministry’s decision on the grounds that disclosure would harm its interests under s. 21(1)(c). The adjudicator found only a small portion of the information was supplied in confidence under s. 21(1)(b), and that disclosure could not reasonably be expected to result in harm under s. 21(1)(c). The adjudicator ordered disclosure of all of the requested information.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Nov 7, 2013
This is a rehearing of part of Order F11-28, which concerned email correspondence between BCLC’s then chief executive officer and its former director and chair. The former director and chair argued that certain email correspondence requested by an applicant did not fall within the scope of FIPPA, so FIPPA did not apply. The adjudicator found that BCLC had “custody” of the responsive records within the meaning of s. 3(1) of FIPPA, so the records were within the scope of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered BCLC to comply with the terms of Order F11-28.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner to investigate police information checks
Oct 29, 2013
BC Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will investigate the use of police information checks in British Columbia, in response to concerns about the amount and type of personal information these checks disclose.
Canada's access to information and privacy guardians urge government to modernize laws
Oct 9, 2013
Canada's access to information and privacy laws should be modernized in order to protect these important rights in the face of dramatic technological change and the demands of engaged citizens, said the country's access to information and privacy guardians in a joint resolution issued today.
City of Abbotsford
Oct 2, 2013
The City of Abbotsford identified email correspondence between it and Jack’s Towing as being responsive to an applicant’s request for information. The City notified Jack’s of its intention to disclose the emails to the applicant. Jack’s requested a review of the City’s decision on the grounds that disclosure would harm its interests under s. 21 and would be an unreasonable invasion of privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found s. 21 did not apply to any of the records, but ordered the City to withhold a small amount of third-party personal information that if released would be an unreasonable invasion of privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA.
Law Society of BC
Oct 2, 2013
The applicant, a lawyer whose legal practice was under review by the Law Society, requested records related to the review. The Law Society withheld some information from the records under ss. 13, 14 and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the Law Society was authorized to refuse to disclose most of the information it withheld under s. 13 and all of the information for which it claimed solicitor-client privilege under s. 14. The adjudicator also found that the Law Society must continue to refuse to disclose the personal information it withheld from the records under s. 22(3)(d) because the information relates to the employment, occupational or educational history of third parties and disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of personal privacy.
British Columbia Safety Authority
Sep 26, 2013
The British Columbia Safety Authority withheld a bridge inspection report from a journalist on the basis that disclosure would be harmful to a railway company’s business interests. The adjudicator was not satisfied that disclosure of the report would be harmful and found that s. 21 of FIPPA did not apply.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner on Right to Know Week
Sep 24, 2013
It is my pleasure to join my colleagues across Canada and the world in celebration of Right to Know Week, which takes place from Sept. 23 to 28, 2013.
Vancouver Coastal Health
Sep 5, 2013
VCH sought authorization to disregard outstanding and future requests by the respondent relating to residential care provided to the respondent’s mother. The adjudicator concluded that the respondent’s requests are systematic and unreasonably interfere with VCH’s operations. VCH is authorized to disregard one outstanding request and future requests relating to the respondent’s mother’s care at a residential care facility.
KONE INC.
Aug 28, 2013
KONE collects and uses GPS information from cellular phones issued to its service mechanic employees. KONE employees complained that KONE is not permitted under PIPA to use this information to manage their employment relationships. The adjudicator determined that KONE is permitted to collect and use the information under PIPA in the manner and for the purposes identified by KONE.
THYSSENKRUPP ELEVATOR (CANADA) LIMITED
Aug 28, 2013
TKE assigns its company service vehicles to specific employees. It installed monitoring devices in those vehicles, which provide the company with vehicle location and operation information. A TKE employee complained that TKE was not permitted to use this information for employee management purposes under PIPA. The adjudicator concluded that TKE was permitted to collect and use the information in the manner and for the purposes identified by TKE to manage its employment relationships. However, the adjudicator was not satisfied that TKE had properly notified the complainant about its collection, uses and purposes for this information, thereby failing to comply with ss. 13(3) and 16(6) of PIPA. The adjudicator also concluded that TKE breached s. 5 of PIPA. The adjudicator ordered TKE to stop collecting and using the information until it provided the required notice.
City of Victoria
Aug 21, 2013
The applicant requested information from proposals that various companies had submitted in response to an RFP issued by the City for a construction project. The City disclosed some of the information but withheld other portions, stating that disclosure would be harmful to the business interests of several third parties. The adjudicator ordered the City to disclose some of the disputed information, while requiring it to refuse to disclose other information.
Practical Suggestions for your Organization's Website's Privacy Policy
Aug 13, 2013
This guidance document is intended to set out the basics of what an organization should consider when developing a website privacy policy.
B.C. businesses must improve online privacy practices, says Commissioner
Aug 13, 2013
The results of the first-ever Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN) internet sweep shows that B.C. companies have work to do to make their privacy policies clear and accessible to the public
Sharing of Personal Information as Part of the Draft Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan
Aug 1, 2013
The Commissioner initiated this investigation to determine whether there was sharing of personal information between the Government of British Columbia and the BC Liberal Party as part of the Outreach Plan and, if there was, whether this sharing was authorized under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) and the Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”).
Commissioner makes five recommendations to improve personal information practices for government and the BC Liberal Party
Aug 1, 2013
In an investigation report released today, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham confirmed that her office did not find evidence of personal information being shared between the B.C. Government and the B.C. Liberal Party, as contemplated by the Multicultural Strategic Outreach Plan.
Commissioner to release report on alleged information sharing between B.C. Government and B.C. Liberal Party
Jul 31, 2013
On Thursday, Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release a report summarizing the results of her office’s investigation of alleged sharing of personal information between the B.C. Government and the B.C. Liberal Party.
The Board of Education of School District No. 43 (Coquitlam)
Jul 29, 2013
The School District sought authorization under s. 43 to disregard both outstanding and future access requests made by, or on behalf of the respondents. The adjudicator found that only some of the outstanding access requests are frivolous and vexatious for the purposes of s. 43, and the School District is authorized to disregard them. In addition, the adjudicator authorized the School District to disregard the respondents’ future access requests - in excess of one open request at a time - for two years from the date of this decision, and the School District is not required to spend more than three hours responding to any one access request. Finally, the School District does not require relief under s. 43 of FIPPA to be able to refuse to disclose copies of records that it has already provided to the applicant, either through a previous request or another avenue of access.
Evaluating the Government of British Columbia's Open Government Initiative
Jul 25, 2013
This report evaluates the Government of British Columbia’s open government initiative and whether it promotes transparency and accountability in practice. I make eighteen recommendations to strengthen BC’s open government initiative and ensure its sustainability over the long term.
Commissioner makes recommendations to enhance transparency and accountability in BC open government initiative
Jul 25, 2013
In an investigation report released today, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham has made 18 recommendations to promote transparency and accountability in the B.C. government’s open government initiative.
Information and Privacy Commissioner to release investigation report on open government
Jul 24, 2013
On Thursday July 25, B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release Investigation Report F13-03: Evaluating the Government of British Columbia’s Open Government Initiative.
Township of Langley
Jul 24, 2013
This inquiry concerns a request for the original and revisions of a storm water management plan for a development in the Township of Langley. The township withheld the records under s. 12(3)(a) of FIPPA stating they were drafts of a “legal instrument by which the township acts”. The township submitted that the legal instrument in this case was a servicing agreement, or contract, between itself and the owner of the land under development. The adjudicator found that the meaning of “legal instrument” in s. 12(3)(a) did not include the servicing agreement or the storm water management plan because neither was a legislative or statutory enactment. Therefore, the township was not authorized to withhold the records under s. 12(3)(a).
Ministry of Justice
Jul 24, 2013
A law firm requested four agreements related to litigation initiated by the Province under BC’s Tobacco Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act. The Ministry, on behalf of the Province, refused access on the basis that all four agreements were protected by solicitor-client privilege. It also refused access to one of the agreements on the grounds that disclosure would harm the conduct of relations between the Province and other provinces and reveal information received in confidence from other provinces. The adjudicator found that all four agreements were protected by solicitor-client privilege.
Letter to Chief Constable Jamie Graham regarding Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR)
Jul 4, 2013
Letter from Commissioner Elizabeth Denham to Chief Constable Jamie Graham regarding changes made to the Victoria Police Department's Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) program in response to Investigation Report F12-04.
City of Quesnel
Jul 3, 2013
The applicant requested the cellphone bills belonging to the Mayor of the City of Quesnel for a three year period. The City withheld the information in the “Number called” and the “To” and “From” columns of the bill on the grounds that disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of third-party privacy under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that this was personal information, and that the City was obligated to refuse to disclose it pursuant to s. 22(1).
Vancouver Police Department
Jun 28, 2013
The applicant requested an audio recording of a 911 call made by a third party to the VPD. While the call contains some personal information of the applicant, the Adjudicator required the VPD to withhold the record because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s privacy under s. 22 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Health
Jun 26, 2013
This investigation examined three breaches of personal health data for research purposes that happened because the Ministry failed to translate privacy and security policies into meaningful business practices.
Health ministry must improve personal privacy controls in wake of breaches
Jun 26, 2013
B.C. Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is recommending changes to the Ministry of Health’s privacy practices in the wake of three privacy breaches affecting millions of British Columbians.
BC Privacy Commissioner releases new guidance to help public bodies effectively protect personal privacy
Jun 26, 2013
New guidance document aimed at giving public bodies practical advice on how to implement effective privacy management. Accountable Privacy Management in BC’s Public Sector provides a blueprint and step-by-step instructions for all public bodies that collect and use personal information.
Privacy Commissioner to release report on Ministry of Health privacy breach
Jun 25, 2013
On Wednesday June 26 at 9:30 a.m., B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham will release Investigation Report F13-02: Ministry of Health.
Joint letter to Google Inc. regarding Google Glass
Jun 18, 2013
Data protection authorities urge Google to address Google Glass concerns
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding internet surveillance
Jun 11, 2013
Elizabeth Denham released the following statement in response to media reports describing widespread surveillance of citizens' online activities.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
May 30, 2013
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority asked that the OIPC not hold an inquiry into its decision to withhold information in response to an applicant’s request. The adjudicator granted VCHA’s request because it was plain and obvious that FIPPA did not apply to the information requested and therefore the information could be withheld.
Ministry of Finance
May 22, 2013
The applicant requested records related to a pulp mill. Approximately eight months later, the Ministry still had not provided the applicant with a response. The Ministry was found not to have fulfilled its duties under ss. 6(1) and 7 of FIPPA and was ordered to provide the response by June 24, 2013.
Privacy Emergency Kit
May 8, 2013
Sharing personal information during an emergency -- information and guidance from the B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
District of North Saanich
May 2, 2013
The District of North Saanich withheld records requested by a resident relating to the District’s review of an appointment of a person to the Peninsula Recreation Commission. The District said the records would reveal the substance of an in camera District council meeting, and were subject to solicitor-client privilege. The adjudicator found some records were appropriately withheld because solicitor-client privilege applied, and the remaining records were ordered released.
Privacy Awareness Week: Asia Pacific data protection authorities team up to show why privacy matters
Apr 29, 2013
April 28 to May 4 is Privacy Awareness Week and to mark the occasion, members of the Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (“APPA”) are teaming up to talk about why privacy matters in today’s digital world.
City of Vancouver
Apr 16, 2013
A City of Vancouver employee was suspended from work on two occasions. He requested all records regarding his suspensions. The City withheld records under ss. 13, 19(1)(a), and 22 of FIPPA. The adjudicator authorized the City to withhold certain records under s. 13, and required the City to withhold other records under s. 22. Sections 13 or 22 applied to all records. The adjudicator did not order disclosure of any records.
An Adjudication under Section 62 of the Act requested by the Vancouver Police Department on March 27, 2012
Apr 12, 2013
OIPC decision is confirmed.
Letter to Hon. Ben Stewart, Minister of Citizens' Services and Open Government
Mar 18, 2013
Letter to Hon. Ben Stewart regarding duty to document recommendation in Investigation Report F13-01, No Responsive Records report.
Use of Personal Email Accounts for Public Business
Mar 18, 2013
This document explains the implications under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”) for use of personal email accounts for work purposes by employees of public bodies.
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner announces preliminary investigation
Mar 18, 2013
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement regarding a preliminary investigation and related matters.
College of Psychologists of British Columbia
Mar 15, 2013
The applicant made two separate requests for records. The first request was for a copy of a report of an organizational review of the College. The adjudicator found that the College was not justified in withholding information from the report under ss. 12(3)(b) and 13(1) of FIPPA. However, with two small exceptions, the adjudicator found that disclosure of the personal information contained in the report would be an unreasonable invasion of third-party personal privacy under s. 22(1) of FIPPA and it may not be disclosed. The applicant’s second request was for records related to the issue of assessing substantially equivalent qualifications of College registrants, and the adjudicator found that the refusal to disclose them was authorized under s. 13(1) of FIPPA.
Provincial Capital Commission
Mar 13, 2013
A journalist requested records related to the Provincial Capital Commission’s request for proposals to lease the CPR Steamship Terminal Building in Victoria’s inner harbour. Information was withheld under ss. 13(1), 15(1)(l), 21(1) and 22(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that the majority of the information withheld under s. 13(1) was not advice and recommendations, so it must be disclosed. Regarding s. 15(1)(l), the public body failed to establish the disclosure of architectural drawings could reasonably be expected to harm the building’s security, so they must be disclosed. Regarding s. 21(1), there was no evidence of harm that would result from disclosure of the withheld financial information, and the adjudicator directed that it be provided to the applicant. Finally, the adjudicator ordered disclosure of some of the information that had been withheld under s. 22(1) because it was either not personal information or because disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of third-party personal privacy.
Increase in No Responsive Records to General Access to Information Requests: Government of British Columbia
Mar 4, 2013
This report investigates the growth of “no responsive records” replies by the Government of British Columbia in response to the general access to information requests of citizens. It also reports on five specific instances of “no responsive records” replies to requests made to government relating to the September 2012 resignation of the Premier’s Chief of Staff.
Commissioner calls for legal reform in wake of “no responsive records” investigation
Mar 4, 2013
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham is recommending changes to the province’s freedom of information laws to ensure that government documents its key actions and decisions.
Letter to Lynda Tarras, Head of the BC Public Service Agency
Feb 28, 2013
Letter to Lynda Tarras, Head of the BC Public Service Agency re OIPC Investigation Report re Government's Use of Employment-Related Criminal Records Checks
Letter to Minister Shirley Bond regarding Bill 12, Community Safety Act (2013)
Feb 26, 2013
Letter to Minister Shirley Bond, Minister of Justice and Attorney General regarding Bill 12-2013 - Community Safety Act
District of Hope
Feb 15, 2013
The applicant requested a copy of the successful proposal and the signed contract issued by the District for garbage, recycling and yard waste services. The District disclosed most of the records but withheld pricing information under s. 21(1) as harmful to the business interests of the successful proponent. The adjudicator found that although the information withheld in both the contract and the proposal was commercial or financial information, only the information in the proposal was “supplied in confidence” as required by s. 21(1). The adjudicator went on to find that the District had failed to establish that disclosure of the information withheld in the proposal and the contract could reasonably be expected to result in the harms in s. 21(1)(c)(i) and (iii).
Letter to Deputy Minister Kim Henderson regarding BC Services Card Phase 1 review
Feb 8, 2013
I am writing to convey my office’s views on the privacy and security framework for Phase 1 of the BC Services Card Program.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding the BC Services Card
Feb 8, 2013
Commissioner Elizabeth Denham today released a brief statement and letter about her office's review of Phase 1 of the BC Services Card.
Protecting Privacy in a Connected World
Feb 8, 2013
Keynote Presentation to the 14th Annual Privacy and Security Conference, Feb 8, 2013
City of Rossland
Feb 5, 2013
The applicant requested records relating to all letters, opinions, and reviews from the City’s lawyer referred to in a memo from the City’s Chief Administrative Officer to the Mayor and City Council. The City refused to disclose the records on the basis that solicitor-client privilege applied. The Adjudicator found that solicitor-client privilege applies to the records.
University of British Columbia
Feb 1, 2013
The information UBC collects from a GPS system installed in its Campus Security patrol vehicles is ‘personal information’ of its employees in view of its use for purposes relating to the whereabouts and behaviour of the employees at work. UBC is authorized to collect and use this information in the circumstances. UBC failed, however, to give proper notice of collection of personal information, which it must do now.
Financial Institutions Commission
Jan 28, 2013
The ICBA requested information about union pension plans filed with FICOM, which FICOM decided to disclose. The Trustees of the pension plans requested a review of the decision of FICOM on the basis that s. 21(1) of FIPPA applied. The Assistant Commissioner found that the Trustees and the Unions had not demonstrated that disclosure would cause significant harm to their competitive position or interfere significantly in their negotiating position under s. 21(1)(c)(i) of FIPPA; or cause them undue financial loss under s. 21(1)(c)(iii). The Assistant Commissioner required FICOM to disclose the information.
College of Psychologists of British Columbia
Jan 28, 2013
The applicant requested information about what the College’s legal counsel charged for certain services. The responsive records were monthly legal accounts. The adjudicator found that the presumption that the requested information is protected by solicitor-client privilege had not been rebutted.
Understanding PIPA: Best Practices for Security Professionals
Jan 28, 2013
Speech to the Vancouver Security Partners Forum on January 28, 2013
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner on Data Privacy Day
Jan 27, 2013
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham made the following statement in celebration of Data Privacy Day (Jan. 28).
Ministry of Health and Ministry of Citizens' Services and Open Government
Jan 25, 2013
A journalist requested records relating to medications for the treatment of Adult Macular Degeneration. The Ministries withheld portions of the requested information under ss. 13, 14, 16, 17, 21, and 22 of FIPPA. The Assistant Commissioner ordered the public bodies to disclose parts of the withheld information, authorized the public bodies to withhold parts of the withheld information under s. 13, 14, 16, and 17 of FIPPA, and required the public bodies to refuse to disclose parts of the withheld information under ss. 21 and 22 of FIPPA.
Information for individuals concerned about Ministry of Health data breaches
Jan 14, 2013
The Information and Privacy Commissioner is conducting an independent investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of personal health data by the Ministry of Health. We will issue a public report once our investigation is complete.
Statement from B.C. Privacy Commissioner regarding data breaches at the Ministry of Health
Jan 14, 2013
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement regarding privacy breaches at the Ministry of Health.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding the BC Services Card
Jan 7, 2013
B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement regarding the BC Services Card initiative.
Schindler Elevator Corporation
Dec 19, 2012
Schindler collects information using a GPS and engine status data system installed in its service vehicles, which are assigned exclusively to its mechanics. Mechanics do not report to work at an office; they travel from their homes to job sites on assigned routes. The GPS component of the system records a vehicle’s location and movements, as well as the time and date of its locations. The engine status component records the vehicle engine’s start and stop times, as well as things like excessive speeding, braking and acceleration. Among other things, Schindler collects and uses this information for employment management purposes; the information is personal information and employee personal information. Schindler is in the circumstances, including the policies it follows as to how and when it collects and uses this information, authorized to collect and use it.
Vancouver Police Department
Dec 12, 2012
The applicant requested records related to his involvement as a suspect in a police investigation. The adjudicator found the VPD was required to withhold most of the information on the grounds that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy under s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The VPD was not required to withhold information relating to the police officers’ actions.
Statement from B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner regarding a privacy breach at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Dec 6, 2012
B.C. Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham issued the following statement in response to numerous media inquiries about a privacy breach at Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Summary of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner’s Investigation of the breach of personal information at the British Columbia Institute of Technology
Nov 26, 2012
In June, 2012 during an audit of its information systems, the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) discovered an anomaly on one of its servers. Further investigation revealed that the server had been accessed by an unknown intruder in the early months of 2012. The server stored and processed information related to the Student Health Services Medical Clinic.
Budget & Service Plan (2013/14-2015/16)
Nov 20, 2012
Budget and Service Plan presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services on November 20, 2012.
Police must make changes to licence plate scanning technology, says B.C. Privacy Commissioner
Nov 15, 2012
The Victoria Police Department must make changes to its Automated Licence Plate Recognition program to comply with privacy laws, says B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner.
Use of Automated Licence Plate Recognition technology by the Victoria Police Department
Nov 15, 2012
This report examines the use of Automated Licence Plate Recognition (ALPR) technology by the Victoria Police Department. The report makes four recommendations.
Response from Commissioners Denham, Cavoukian and Clayton to Chief Chu re: Bill C-30
Nov 12, 2012
Reply to Chief Constable Jim Chu's letter of November 10 in the Vancouver Sun about Bill C-30 (lawful access legislation).
Letter from Commissioners Denham, Clayton and Cavoukian in response to Chief Constable Chu re: Bill C-30 (Lawful Access)
Nov 7, 2012
Commissioners' response to Chief Constable Jim Chu's op-ed about the federal government's lawful access legislation (Bill C-30), currently before the House of Commons.
British Columbia Rapid Transit Company
Oct 30, 2012
The applicant requested a copy of a violence risk assessment report which examined his interactions with a co-worker. The adjudicator found that BCRTC is authorized to withhold portions of the report on the basis that it reveals advice and recommendations under s. 13(1). However, the adjudicator found that the evidence does not support BCRTC’s claim that disclosure of the remainder of the information could reasonably be expected to threaten the safety or mental or physical health of others under s. 19(1)(a).
City of Vancouver
Oct 25, 2012
An architect requested documents created by the City of Vancouver relating to the address of a potential laneway house development in the City. The City withheld portions of seven emails under s. 13(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of one email because it had already been disclosed, and portions of the other six emails to which s. 13(1) did not apply. The City was authorized to withhold the remaining portions of the six emails under s. 13(1) because they contained advice and recommendations.
Privacy Commissioners help developers seize opportunity to create privacy-friendly apps
Oct 24, 2012
To help heighten personal information protection in the mobile era, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and the Information and Privacy Commissioners of Alberta and British Columbia today issued new guidance to help mobile app developers set themselves apart by making user privacy central in their design process.
Good privacy practices for developing mobile apps
Oct 24, 2012
This guidance outlines the privacy considerations when designing and developing mobile apps.
Insurance Corporation of British Columbia
Oct 22, 2012
The ARA requested correspondence and associated records between ICBC and the federal Competition Bureau. ICBC withheld some of the information on the basis that it constituted advice and recommendations and it was subject to solicitor-client privilege. ICBC also argued that in accordance with the doctrine of paramountcy of federal legislation, FIPPA did not apply in this case because it was in conflict with federal legislation. The Assistant Commissioner found that the doctrine of paramountcy did not apply because there was no valid federal law that applied with respect to the records in the custody and control of ICBC. The Assistant Commissioner found that solicitor-client privilege applied to all of the records for which ICBC claimed this exception. With respect to the remaining information, the Assistant Commissioner determined that the advice and recommendations exception authorized ICBC to withhold some but not all of the information it claimed under this exception.
Letter to Craig James Re: MLA Expenses
Oct 15, 2012
Commissioner's comments on the reporting of constituency office expenses by MLAs.
Economical Mutual Insurance Company
Sep 27, 2012
Economical Mutual Insurance Company applied to the Commissioner to re-open, reconsider and vary Order P11-02, on the basis that there was new evidence that could not have been adduced in the inquiry, but which would have a direct impact on Order P11-02. The new evidence consisted of evidence of Economical’s current practice of providing notice to policy holders and applicants for insurance, and evidence with respect to the hardship entailed by compliance with Order P11-02. The Commissioner applied the appropriate legal test for adducing extra-record evidence to Economical’s new evidence and found that it failed to establish that there was a basis to re-open, reconsider or vary Order P11-02. She concluded that the new evidence of Economical’s current practices was not relevant, as it did not bear upon the decisive issue in the original inquiry, which was whether the notice provided at the date of the complaint was sufficient for the purposes of PIPA. In addition, the evidence with respect to the hardship entailed by compliance with Order P11-02 was available to Economical during the original inquiry and could have been adduced at that time.
Information and privacy commissioners co-host the 7th annual PIPA Conference
Sep 27, 2012
Alberta’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Jill Clayton, and British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, will co-host the 7th Annual PIPA Conference to be held in Calgary, Alberta on November 1-2, 2012, at the Deerfoot Inn.
Privacy Matters: Tips and Best Practices for IT Professionals
Sep 20, 2012
A speech to the members of MISA BC about the value of privacy in today's digital world and how IT professionals can be leaders in privacy and security.
Freedom of Information and Privacy Association 2012 Info Summit
Sep 19, 2012
Commissioner's speech to the bi-annual FIPA information summit. Includes a progress update on the work of the Office, and discusses role of regulators in promoting public awareness and dialogue about access and privacy issues.
OIPC promotes open data literacy and leadership for Right to Know Week 2012
Sep 14, 2012
In celebration of Right to Know Week 2012, the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner is promoting open data literacy and leadership among B.C.'s librarians and information professionals.
BC Coroners Service
Sep 13, 2012
A reporter requested third party records obtained by the coroner in an investigation into the death of an Olympic luge athlete. The BC Coroners Service withheld the records under s. 21(1) of FIPPA. The Commissioner found that s. 21(1) of FIPPA did not apply to the records because BCCS and the third parties failed to demonstrate the harm in disclosing them. The Commissioner ordered BCCS to disclose the records.
Ministry of Justice
Aug 23, 2012
The applicant requested video recordings relating to the time that she was detained at the Vancouver City Jail. On judicial review of a previous order in which some recordings were ordered released with some redactions, the Supreme Court of British Columbia held that the facial image of a Correctional Officer in the recording was third party personal information and remitted back to the Commissioner the question of whether the release of that information would constitute an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s privacy. The applicant made no submissions on the remittal. The applicant has not met the burden of showing that the release of the information would not constitute an unreasonable invasion of the third party’s privacy.
Report of the Health Research Roundtable
Aug 2, 2012
The purpose of this paper is to serve as a record of the roundtable discussion on access to data for health research and to identify next steps.
Letter to Douglas Horne, Chair of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services, regarding a progress report on implementation of the Commissioner's expanded mandate
Jul 23, 2012
As requested by the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (“Committee”) in its Annual Review of the Budgets of the Independent Legislative Offices published in December 2011, I am writing to provide a progress report on the implementation of my expanded statutory mandate under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”).
City of New Westminster
Jul 4, 2012
A performing arts society requested records regarding assets located in a City-owned theatre. The City withheld two reports prepared for council and withheld portions of the minutes from two council meetings under s. 12(3)(b) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that s. 12(3)(b) applied to the minutes of the in camera council meetings but not to the reports and that their release would not reveal the substance of council’s deliberations.
College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Jun 29, 2012
A criminology professor requested decisions of the College on physicians disciplined for sexually inappropriate behaviour. The College disclosed a copy of an Agreement in which a physician admitted he had inappropriately hugged and kissed a patient and agreed to the College imposing discipline on him. The College previously made a separate public disclosure of the identity of the physician, a description of the charge against him, and the details of the discipline it imposed. The College withheld, under s. 22(1) of FIPPA, all information identifying the complainant and the physician, as well as the medical, educational and employment history of the physician. The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) applied to the medical information of the complainant and the medical, educational and employment history of the physician, but not to the identity of the physician, the details of the charge or the terms of the discipline it imposed. The adjudicator ordered the College to disclose this information in the Agreement.
Cloud computing for private organizations (small and medium sized enterprises)
Jun 14, 2012
This guidance document is intended to help SMEs understand what their privacy responsibilities are and to offer some suggestions to address privacy considerations in the cloud.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastucture
Jun 13, 2012
An applicant requested the traffic management plan and any permits that the Ministry issued in relation to the Whistler GranFondo 2010. The Ministry withheld the traffic management plan and other information under s. 21(1) of FIPPA, on the grounds that disclosure would harm the business interests of TOIT Events. The adjudicator found that s. 21(1) of FIPPA did not apply to the information, because TOIT had not supplied the information to the Ministry in confidence and TOIT failed to demonstrate the potential harm in disclosing it. The adjudicator ordered the Ministry to disclose all of the information.
Privacy, Security, Accountability: Best Practices for CISOs
Jun 12, 2012
In today’s digital world it’s more important than ever to have a business regime for managing and securing the personal information of your clients and customers. But it’s not enough to address privacy and security issues when they arise – the key is to have a privacy management program in place before systems are built.
The Intersection and Synergies of RIM, Privacy and Information Access
Jun 4, 2012
Commissioner's speech to the national ARMA conference focuses on open information and open data, and the opportunity for records and information managers to take a leading role in the open data movement.
Technology, Enforcement & Legislative Change: News and Views from the Commissioner
May 30, 2012
This speech to the Canadian Bar Association gives an overview of recent issues and events, including recent investigations and reviews, legislative amendments, judicial reviews, and health information legislation.
BC Coroners Service
Apr 27, 2012
The University of British Columbia Law Innocence Project applied for copies of an autopsy report and forensic laboratory report relating to a homicide. BCCS withheld the record under s. 22(1) on the grounds that disclosure of the victim’s medical information would be an unreasonable invasion of her privacy. UBCLIP argued that it required the Reports in order for its contracted forensic expert to complete a full and proper review of the autopsy and form an expert opinion as to whether the conclusions of the Coroner were flawed. It submitted that this circumstance rebutted the presumption that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of privacy. The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) applied to the information and ordered BCCS to withhold the Reports.
OTIS Canada
Apr 24, 2012
Two employees complained that OTIS was collecting their personal information through Telematics equipment on company vehicles contrary to PIPA. OTIS requested the OIPC dismiss the complaint on the grounds of estoppel, the rule against collateral attack or abuse of process. OTIS based this request on the grounds that an arbitrator under the Labour Relations Code had already determined that the information at issue was not personal information, and, therefore, not subject to PIPA. The adjudicator found that holding an inquiry on this complaint would violate the principles of judicial economy, consistency, finality and the integrity of the administration of justice. The request of OTIS that an inquiry not be held is granted.
The Board of Education of School District No. 61 (Victoria)
Apr 19, 2012
A bus driver requested copies of complaints that students made against him regarding his behaviour when transporting them on a school trip. The School District provided him with one record in its entirety and another with all of the information, except for the names of the students, which it withheld under s. 22. The bus driver requested a review in order to obtain access to the names of the students and their contact information. The adjudicator found that s. 22(1) of FIPPA applied to the names of the students, because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the students’ personal privacy.
Ministry of Finance
Apr 19, 2012
The BCCLA applied for a copy of an audit report on Provincial Police Services that Treasury Board had requested the Office of the Comptroller General produce for its consideration. The Ministry withheld the Report on the grounds that disclosure would reveal the substance of the deliberations of Treasury Board, which is a committee of the Executive Council for the purposes of s. 12(1) of FIPPA. The adjudicator found that s. 12(1) of FIPPA applied to the Report as it was produced with the intention that Treasury Board would consider it. The adjudicator required the Ministry to withhold the Report.
Getting accountability right with a privacy management program
Apr 17, 2012
Guidelines for private sector organizations to build a privacy management program step-by-step.
Privacy management program: At-a-glance
Apr 17, 2012
A two-page overview of the key building-blocks of a privacy management program for the private sector.
A Guide to PIPA for businesses and organizations
Apr 10, 2012
This guidance document will help you understand B.C.'s legal framework for access and privacy in the private sector. Includes case examples, tips and a glossary of key terms.
Security Self-Assessment Tool
Apr 10, 2012
This document will help you assess your organization's security measures and offers guidance on minimum security requirements in 17 different categories.
Ministry of Health
Mar 30, 2012
Under s. 42(1 )(i) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act ("FIPPA"), the Commissioner authorizes the BC Transplant Society, Health Authorities, Vancouver General Hospital, St Paul's Hospital, the BC Children's Hospital and the BC Renal Agency to indirectly collect personal information relating to donors and recipients located outside of British Columbia for the purposes of organ and tissue donation and transplantation from two national donor registries operated by Canadian Blood Services (the National Organ Waitlist and the Highly Sensitized Kidney Patients registry).
Assemblies in the Digital Age: New Information Opportunities
Mar 21, 2012
Open Data and Open Government represent a brave new world of information-sharing for citizens. Drawing on examples from the provincial, national and international realm, B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner will discuss the opportunities and challenges of information and data-sharing in the context of Gov 2.0.
City of Fort St. John
Feb 28, 2012
An applicant asked for records that related to an investigation of the City Mayor that resulted in sanctions against the Mayor. The City withheld those records on the grounds that they were subject to solicitor-client privilege and local government confidences and because disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of third party personal privacy. The Senior Adjudicator found that the lawyer’s communications with the City, which included a legal opinion, the Summary Report of the investigation of the Mayor and the complaint letters, were subject to solicitor-client privilege. The Senior Adjudicator also determined that the complaint letters received prior to the City’s request for a legal opinion had an independent existence in City files, having been collected by the City prior to it seeking legal advice. However, the City was still required to withhold the complaint letters because their disclosure would unreasonably invade third-party privacy.
Privacy, Accountability and the Digital Revolution
Feb 17, 2012
Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham discusses how we fuse privacy with technology as the digital revolution unfolds, including case examples and practical tools to help organizations demonstrate their compliance with B.C.’s privacy laws.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Feb 2, 2012
A journalist requested information from BCLC relating to allegations BCLC failed to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act. The information included a letter by the regulating authority outlining instances where BCLC was alleged to have failed to comply with the Proceeds of Crime Act as well as a Notice of Violation fining BCLC. BCLC was ordered to disclose all of the withheld records. The Acting Senior Adjudicator found that disclosure of the records would not deny BCLC’s right to a fair trial nor would it facilitate the commission of an offence. Further, there was not sufficient evidence to demonstrate that disclosure of the withheld records would harm intergovernmental relations between the governments of Canada and British Columbia under s. 16 of FIPPA.
University of British Columbia
Jan 30, 2012
A citizens’ organization made a series of requests for records relating to research at UBC involving animals. UBC responded that the records were outside the scope of FIPPA because they contained research information of UBC employees in accordance with s. 3(1)(e). The adjudicator found that most of the records contained the research information of UBC researchers. However, some of the records did not contain research information of UBC researchers. The adjudicator ordered UBC to continue processing the requests with respect to the records that did not contain research information of UBC researchers.
B.C. Privacy Commissioner launches video surveillance education project
Jan 27, 2012
British Columbia’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has launched a public education initiative about video surveillance in the private sector.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Jan 19, 2012
A journalist requested executive summaries of internal audit reports. The PHSA withheld five audit summaries in their entirety under ss. 12(3)(b) and 13(1) of FIPPA. The PHSA also applied s. 17(1) of FIPPA to three of the five audit summaries. The adjudicator found that disclosure would not reveal the substance of deliberations of a meeting of the Board of Directors under s. 12(3)(b), because the Board did not have the statutory authority to hold the meetings in the absence of the public. The adjudicator also found that disclosure could not be reasonably expected to cause the PHSA to suffer financial harm under s. 17(1). The adjudicator found that s. 13(1)(2)(g) applied to two of the audit summaries, as they were final audits of efficiency or performance of PHSA, or one of its programs or policies. Therefore, s. 13(1) did not apply to those two audit summaries. Section 13(1) did apply to advice and recommendations within the other three audit summaries, but not to those records in their entirety. The adjudicator ordered disclosure of parts of the three audit summaries and the other two audit summaries in their entirety.
Emergency and Health Services Commission of British Columbia
Jan 17, 2012
CUPE requested records related to a labour dispute between BC Paramedics and the Emergency and Health Services Commission. The Commission disclosed some records but withheld other information under ss. 12, 13, 14 and 22 of FIPPA. The A/Senior Adjudicator found the records for which the Commission claimed s. 14 were subject to solicitor-client privilege. The Commission was also required to refuse to disclose the records for which it claimed s. 22 because disclosure of that information would be an unreasonable invasion of the privacy of certain employees. While the A/Senior Adjudicator determined that the Commission had properly applied ss. 12 and 13 to a number of records, he ordered the Commission to disclose other withheld information because it did not reveal the substance of cabinet deliberations nor did it reveal recommendations or advice by or for a public body.
Technology and Privacy: The Road Ahead
Jan 17, 2012
Commissioner's speech discusses recent developments in privacy and technology including employer use of social media for background checks, cloud computing, lawful access (Bill C-30), open government, and recent legislative amendments to FIPPA.
City of Vancouver
Dec 20, 2011
An applicant requested from the City a copy of an operational review report written by Sierra, a third-party service provider. The City withheld portions of the Report under ss. 17(1) and 21(1) arguing that disclosure would reasonably be expected to cause financial harm to the City and Sierra. Neither exception applies. In its submission, Sierra consented to the disclosure of the information in accordance with s. 21(3)(a). The City had failed to establish that disclosure would be reasonably expected to cause it financial or economic harm under s. 17(1). The Report does not constitute a plan relating to the management of personnel or administration of the City under s. 17(1)(c). The City had failed to establish that disclosure would harm its negotiating position under s. 17(1)(f). The City must disclose the entire report.
City of Prince Rupert
Dec 7, 2011
The applicant requested a copy of a severance agreement between the City and its former Corporate Administrator. The City provided the total severance figure but declined to provide the severance agreement itself, on the basis that the records were subject to solicitor-client privilege and that their disclosure would unreasonably invade the former Corporate Administrator’s privacy. The A/Senior Adjudicator found that because the communication at issue was between the City’s lawyer and a third party, it was not subject to solicitor-client privilege. Further, the information in the record constituted remuneration under s. 22(4)(e) and, therefore, its disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of third party privacy.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Dec 7, 2011
A journalist requested copies of the electronic calendar of the Minister of Transportation for two years. The Ministry provided copies of printouts of the calendars for the two MLAs who were Ministers during that period, but withheld portions under ss. 17 (economic harm) and 22 (personal privacy) of FIPPA. It also withheld entries relating to MLA activities as being outside the scope of FIPPA. The journalist challenged the decision with respect to the entries relating to MLA activities. The Ministry argued that each electronic entry in the calendar was a separate record and the entries relating to MLA activities were not in the custody or under the control of the Ministry. The adjudicator found that each entry was not a separate record: the calendars the Ministry produced were two records (one for each Minister) that were in the custody and under the control of the Ministry. These Ministry records happened to contain information about MLA activities. The Ministry also argued that some entries were records created by or for an officer of the legislature and were outside the scope of FIPPA in accordance with s. 3(1)(c). The records were not created by or for the Ombudsperson. The adjudicator ordered the Ministry to complete the processing of the request with respect to the information it had incorrectly withheld as outside the scope of FIPPA.
British Columbia Lottery Corporation
Nov 2, 2011
The applicant asked BCLC for records relating to its compliance with federal Proceeds of Crime legislation. BCLC identified four responsive records, withholding each in their entirety citing three exceptions to disclosure under FIPPA including solicitor-client privilege. BCLC said it provided the records to their solicitor to prepare for litigation in the Federal Appeals Court and as a result they became privileged as part of the “solicitor’s brief”. The A/Senior Adjudicator found the “solicitor’s brief” test did not apply because BCLC’s lawyer did not gather the records from third parties. Rather, counsel obtained the records from BCLC itself who came to possess them in the ordinary course of its business through the regulatory oversight of its operations. They were neither originally gathered nor created for the purpose of litigation. Records that are “ingathered” in this manner do not become privileged simply because they are later handed to the public body’s solicitor.
University of British Columbia
Oct 20, 2011
A journalist requested records from UBC relating to seven entities. UBC was able to provide some records and a few others were publicly available but for the most part UBC argued that it did not have custody and control of the requested records. Order F09-06 found UBC to have control of the requested records with respect to three of the entities. The Order was subject to a judicial review that led to a consent order to the effect that the OIPC would reconsider the question as to whether UBC had custody or control of the records of the three entities. In the meantime, a judicial review of Order F08-01 found that the relationship between SFU and its subsidiaries did not meet the common law test for piercing the corporate veil, and, therefore, SFU did not exercise control over the records. In this case, the relationship between UBC and the three entities does not meet the common law test for piercing the corporate veil. UBC does not exercise control over the records for the purpose of FIPPA.
City of Vancouver
Oct 7, 2011
An applicant asked the City for information related to a lease arrangement between the City and a company called Ecodrive. The City notified Ecodrive that it intended to release certain information requested by the applicant. Ecodrive sought to review that decision because it said disclosure would be harmful to its business interests. The adjudicator found the information at issue did not meet the business harms test because it related to a negotiated agreement between the parties and not supplied information as required by s. 21 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Finance
Oct 6, 2011
The Ministry withheld certain information from an employee who requested records relating to the termination of her long-term disability benefits. The adjudicator found the Ministry was authorized to withhold the information in certain records because some was subject to litigation privilege; some constituted advice or recommendations while other information was found to unreasonably invade a third party’s personal privacy. The adjudicator concluded however that the Ministry was required to release other information that was not created when litigation was in reasonable contemplation. The Ministry was also required to release other information that he found did not consist of advice or recommendations under s. 13 of FIPPA.
Guidelines for social media background checks
Oct 3, 2011
A “social media background check” can mean many things. It can be as simple as checking out a Facebook profile or as complicated as hiring someone to search for every bit of social media about an individual. When organizations and public bodies search for information about an individual, the collection, use, and disclosure of that personal information is subject to the privacy provisions of FIPPA and PIPA. These laws apply whether the individual is applying for paid or unpaid employment, a volunteer position, or if they are applying to run as a candidate in an election.
Letter to Hon. Bill Barisoff Re: MLA Expenses
Sep 30, 2011
Letter to the Hon. Bill Barisoff regarding the public reporting of MLA expenses for constituency offices under the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).
College of physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia
Mar 31, 2011
A physician requested his entire file from the College. In response, the College disclosed over 1,600 pages of records, withholding other information and records under s. 3(1)(c) and s. 22(1). The College is found to have applied s. 3(1)(c) correctly. The College is also found to have applied s. 22(1) correctly to some information. It is ordered to disclose other information to which s. 22(1) was found not to apply, including “contact information” and the applicant’s own personal information.
Abbotsford Police Board
Mar 30, 2011
The applicant requested a police report from the Abbotsford Police which disclosed the report in severed form. The APB was found to have severed information correctly under s. 22(1). It was not necessary to consider s. 19(1).
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Mar 9, 2011
The HEU requested access to documents related to quality assurance in the provision of dietary and housekeeping services between the public body and Compass Canada. Compass asked for a review of the public body’s decision to give access to the records. The information was found to be commercial and financial information of Compass, but Compass failed to demonstrate that it had supplied the information “in confidence”. Moreover, the third part of the three-part test of s. 21(1) of FIPPA, relating to significant harm to business interests, was not met. The public body was ordered to disclose the records.
British Columbia Assessment Authority
Feb 18, 2011
CUPE requested copies of three leases for BC Assessment?s offices in Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna, as well as schedules to a service agreement. BC Assessment originally applied ss. 15(1)(l), 17(1), 21(1) and 22(1) to portions of the three leases. During mediation and the early stages of the inquiry, most of the issues and records fell away, leaving only the application of s. 17(1) to the Kelowna lease. BC Assessment provided no evidentiary basis to support the application of s. 17(1). This exception is found not to apply and BC Assessment is ordered to disclose the severed information in the Kelowna lease.
Vancouver Police Board
Feb 16, 2011
An applicant requested his personal information in the custody of the VPD. The VPD responded by releasing copies of four police occurrence reports involving the applicant, but withholding some information collected through CPIC under s. 16(1)(b) and the personal information of third parties collected as part of the investigations on the four files under s. 22(1). The VPD was not authorized to refuse to disclose information under s. 16(1)(b) and is ordered to disclose this information. The VPD was required to withhold other information under s. 22(1), except for information that the applicant himself provided to the VPD.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Feb 14, 2011
A nurse requested a copy of a job reference about her that her employer, a physician, had sent to VIHA. VIHA refused access to the record in its entirety under s. 22(2)(f), saying the physician had supplied the reference in confidence. VIHA did not establish that the physician supplied the reference in confidence. It also did not discharge its burden of proving that the applicant was not entitled to have access to her own personal information. VIHA is ordered to disclose the entire record.
The Board of Education of School District No.39 (Vancouver)
Feb 3, 2011
After a former teacher was convicted of a number of offences, the School District commissioned Don Avison to conduct a review of its current policies and practices in the area of child protection. In response to the applicant‘s request, the School District released a severed version of Avison‘s report on his review, withholding information under several sections of FIPPA. An earlier decision, Order F10-18, of June 7, 2010, determined that solicitor client privilege did not apply to the severed information because Avison was not retained to act as a legal advisor to the School District. In this decision, the Commissioner concluded that disclosure of the Report would not reveal the substance of deliberations of a meeting of the board of education under s. 12(3)(b) and could not be reasonably expected to cause the School District to suffer financial harm under s. 17(1). The Commissioner also found that, as the Report was a final report on the performance and efficiency of School District policies under s. 13(2)(g), s. 13(1) (protection of advice or recommendations) did not apply. Finally, the Commissioner found that s. 22(1) applied to the employment history of identifiable individuals, but that other personal information about employees could be disclosed because it was factual or routine information. The Commissioner ordered the School Board to disclose all severed information except for the employment history information.
Provincial Health Services Authority and Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia
Jan 25, 2011
A physician whose employment and hospital privileges at the CWHC are presently suspended requested minutes of the meetings of a medical departmental staff committee of the CWHC. The PHSA responded by providing the applicant with records while withholding information under ss. 12(1), 13, 17 and 22 of FIPPA and s. 51 of the Evidence Act. The PHSA subsequently ceased to rely on ss. 13 and 17. Section 51 of the Evidence Act applies to some but not all passages. PHSA ordered to process this latter information under FIPPA. Section 22 of FIPPA applies to the medical information of patients and staff. It also applies to the employment history of staff and prospective staff, including evaluations of work, announcement of retirements and new hiring, the passing of exams and immigration issues. Section 22 does not apply to the professional opinions that identifiable physicians expressed relating to the operation of the CWHC and the PHSA is ordered to disclose this information.
City of Surrey
Jan 25, 2011
The City launched court proceedings against the applicant relating to the apprehension of one of his pet dogs and what it alleged was the applicant’s illegal occupation of a City road allowance. Subsequently the applicant requested information relating to himself, his two pet dogs and the City. The City provided a number of records but refused disclosure of others under ss. 14, 15 and 22 of FIPPA. Solicitor-client privilege applied to most of the records in dispute thereby authorizing the City to withhold them under s. 14. Litigation privilege applied to some of these records because even though the two court proceedings were concluded, litigation related to them was reasonably apprehended by the City. The City was authorized to withhold the balance of the records because they could reveal the identity of a confidential source of law enforcement and thereby could reasonably be expected to harm law enforcement.
Ministry of Finance
Jan 5, 2011
The applicant requested information relating to a specific Taxation (Rural Area) Act account number. The Ministry provided the applicant some information but withheld other information under s. 21(2) and s. 22(1) of FIPPA. The Ministry was required to withhold the disputed information under s. 21(2) of FIPPA because it was obtained for collecting a tax or determining tax liability under the Taxation (Rural Area) Act and none of the third parties involved consented to its disclosure.
City of Richmond
Dec 22, 2010
An applicant requested details of a settlement that a former employee received from the City. The City withheld the settlement agreement in its entirety under s. 22, on the grounds that disclosure would be an unreasonable invasion of the former employee’s personal privacy. The applicant subsequently narrowed the request to the amount of money the City paid the former employee, as provided in the settlement agreement. Section 22 does not apply to the information withheld, because disclosure is desirable for public scrutiny. The City is ordered to disclose the financial amount paid to the former employee.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Dec 17, 2010
The applicant requested records connected with research proposals he made to the University’s Research Ethics Board. The University argued the records contained the research information of a post-secondary employee and were thus outside FIPPA’s jurisdiction because of s. 3(1)(e). The adjudicator found that he had no authority over the records because FIPPA did not apply, even though the request for them came from the employee himself. The records contain the research information of a post-secondary employee and are therefore excluded from FIPPA under s. 3(1)(e).
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Dec 17, 2010
The applicant requested records connected with research proposals he made to the University’s Research Ethics Board. The University argued the records contained the research information of a post-secondary employee and were outside of FIPPA’s jurisdiction because of s. 3(1)(e). Even though the request for the records came from the employee himself, the adjudicator found, with the exception of two legal opinions, he had no authority over them because FIPPA did not apply. The records contained the research information of a post-secondary employee and were therefore excluded from FIPPA under s. 3(1)(e). The Ministry properly withheld the two legal opinions at issue under s. 14 of FIPPA.
Vancouver Island Health Authority
Nov 29, 2010
A surgeon, who previously exercised hospital privileges with VIHA, requested a copy of a letter of complaint that a general practitioner had written about him to the chief of surgery. This letter initiated a review of some of the applicant’s cases that led ultimately in the ending of his hospital privileges. VIHA withheld portions of the letter under s. 22(1) of FIPPA on the grounds that disclosure would constitute an unreasonable invasion of privacy of third parties. This information included details about the diagnosis and treatment of the applicant’s patients. VIHA also claimed that s. 51 of the Evidence Act applied to a passage relating to information that was disclosed to a Medical Advisory Committee. Section 51 of the Evidence Act applies to the passage in question. Section 22 of FIPPA applies to some, but not all, of the information withheld. VIHA ordered to disclose information about the applicant’s treatment and diagnosis of unnamed but potentially identifiable patients.
WorkSafeBC
Nov 3, 2010
Widow and union of a worker killed in a workplace incident requested records of WorkSafeBC’s investigation into the incident. WorkSafeBC disclosed most of the information, except the identifying information of several individuals. Section 22 found not to apply to most of the withheld information and WorkSafeBC ordered to disclose it.
New Westminster Police Board
Nov 3, 2010
Widow and union of a worker killed in a workplace incident requested the records of the NWPB investigation into the incident. NWPB disclosed much of the information. Section 22(1) found not to apply to most of the information withheld under that exception and NWPB ordered to disclose it, subject to reconsideration of s. 15(1)g). Third parties found not to be “confidential sources of law enforcement information” and s. 15(1)(d) therefore does not apply. Some information relates to or was used in the “exercise of prosecutorial discretion”. However New Westminster Police Board found not to have exercised discretion properly in applying s.15(1)(g) and is ordered to reconsider its decision.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Oct 29, 2010
The applicant requested records about the Health Centre’s Peer Review Committee examination of a harassment complaint against him. The PHSA refused to disclose the information because it said some records were personal notes and communications of persons acting in a quasi-judicial capacity and others were subject to solicitor-client privilege. The adjudicator found that s. 3(1)(b) excluded some records from FIPPA’s application while the balance of the records were subject to solicitor-client privilege.
Fraser Health Authority and Partnerships BC
Oct 13, 2010
CUPE made a request to Partnerships British Columbia for all documents submitted for an independent review of the financial model of the Abbotsford Hospital Project. The request was partially transferred to the Fraser Health Authority. The public bodies withheld some information relating to the risk assessment of aspects of the project on the grounds that disclosure would damage their negotiating position on future contracts, in accordance with s. 17(1)(f). The public bodies were authorized by s. 17(1) to refuse to give access to the information at issue
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority
Sep 27, 2010
The applicant requested salary and consulting fees paid to a TransLink employee. These payments are considered remuneration of an employee of a public body for the purpose of s. 22(4)(e). Disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of the third party, and, therefore, TransLink must disclose the requested information.
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority
Sep 27, 2010
The applicant requested salary information for all union-exempt employees for a two-year period and other payment information concerning a former union-exempt TransLink employee. These payments are considered remuneration of an employee of a public body for the purpose of s. 22(4)(e). Disclosure would not be an unreasonable invasion of the personal privacy of the third party, and, therefore, TransLink must disclose the requested information.
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Sep 7, 2010
The complainant consented to the Ministry conducting a “prior contact check” for the benefit of the complainant?s new employer, a social service agency providing services to troubled youth. In the process of conducting the check, a Ministry social worker came across a decade-old and uninvestigated allegation of sexual abuse against the applicant. The social worker recommended to the employer that the complainant be barred from unsupervised contact with youth, which resulted in his termination. The Ministry was found not to have taken any steps to assess the accuracy of the information before it used that information in the decision to recommend the applicant be supervised in the workplace, failing to comply with s. 28 of FIPPA.
Ministry of Finance
Aug 26, 2010
The applicant requested records detailing what ministries were responsible for payments to certain government suppliers listed in the Public Accounts. The Ministry said that producing the record required it to manually process raw data that s. 6(2) of FIPPA did not obligate it to do. The Ministry is not required to create the records that need manual processing but is required, under s. 6(2) to create a record containing the raw data.
Ministry of Environment
Jun 10, 2010
The applicant requested all records related to the permit application of Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts to develop horseriding trails and campsites in Strathcona Park. The Ministry was authorized to withhold all records for which it claimed solicitor-client privilege and most of the records that it withheld under s. 13(1) of FIPPA. The Ministry was required to disclose information from one record because it was a management directive and not a recommendation or advice under s. 13(1).
Board of Education of School District 39 (Vancouver)
Jun 7, 2010
Following the trial and conviction of a teacher for indecent assault and gross indecency, the School District commissioned Don Avison to conduct a review of its current policies and practices. The applicant requested a copy of the Avison Report that resulted. The School District released a severed version of the Report and withheld the rest, relying on several sections of FIPPA, including that it was protected by solicitor-client privilege. Legal professional privilege did not apply because Avison was not retained to act as a legal advisor to the School District. As a result, his report did not arise within a solicitor-client relationship.
Board of Education of School District No. 49 (Central Coast)
Jun 7, 2010
Applicant requested records related to limitation expenditures. School District disclosed minutes of Board meetings in severed form and withheld several items it said related to legal accounts. Section 12(3)(b) found to apply to withheld information in minutes. Section 14 found to apply to lawyers’ bills of account and some other similar information. Section 14 found not to apply to total amounts of payments to law firms.
WorkSafeBC
May 27, 2010
A complainant requested a review of her income calculation that WorkSafeBC used to determine her benefit level for her accident claim. As part of the review process, WorkSafeBC disclosed her file to her employer, including three psychological reports. The complainant submitted that this contravened s. 33.1 of FIPPA because the reports did not relate to review of the income calculation matter. Disclosure was in compliance with s. 3(2) of FIPPA, which states that FIPPA does not limit information available by law to a party to a proceeding. The claim review process is a proceeding for s. 3(2) purposes, the employer was a party to that proceeding and s. 96.2(6) of the WCA required disclosure of records relating to the matter under review, which matter consists of the entire claim file.
Ministry of Finance
May 18, 2010
Two journalists requested records in an electronic format containing the names of government employees along with their salary expenses, job title and department. The Ministry replied that the record could not be created from a machine readable record in its custody or control using its normal hardware and software and technical expertise. The Ministry was not required to create the records at issue in the inquiry.
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
May 12, 2010
The applicant requested records compiled under s. 86 of the Gaming Control Act reporting suspected or actual illegal activities in registered gaming establishments and casinos. This Order follows Order F08-03 wherein the Ministry was not authorized to withhold the records under s. 15 or required to withhold them under s. 21 but was required withhold some personal information under s. 22. Following a request by the third parties, Order F08-07 was issued granting all parties the opportunity to make further argument concerning whether the names of casino employees which appear in the s. 86 reports should be withheld under s. 22. The third parties argued that the names of their employees, including the writers of the s. 86 reports, should not be disclosed. The Ministry must disclose the names of the s. 86 report writers and other employees acting in the course of their employment responsibilities. However, the Ministry is required to withhold the names of employees who are identified in the reports as being threatened or assaulted, who were subject to investigation or who were witnesses to an incident.
Office of the Premier
May 12, 2010
FIPA requested records leading to and underlying Cabinet decisions regarding the restructuring of BC Ferries. The Premier?s Office disclosed a number of records, severing information under ss. 12(1) and 13(1). The Premier?s Office is found to have applied these exceptions properly.
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Apr 30, 2010
The applicant requested audit records used in the preparation of a report by Josiah Wood QC concerning a review of the police complaints process. The Ministry refused the request on the basis that the records arose or were related to conduct complaints. The Ministry said s. 66.1 of the Police Act applied to exclude the application of FIPPA to the records. Section 66.1 of the Police Act applies to the majority of the records and as such they are not subject to FIPPA. A small number of records were ordered disclosed because they did not relate to conduct complaints.
Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
Apr 26, 2010
An applicant requested his personal information in a file relating to a coroner’s inquest. The Ministry applied s. 3(1)(b) of FIPPA to the only responsive records, which were the handwritten notes of jurors, on the grounds that the records were created by individuals acting in a quasi judicial capacity. The Ministry also argued the records were subject to s. 64(2)(c) of the Coroners Act, as the notes of a coroner. Section 64(2)(c) of the Coroners Act does not apply, as the notes or jurors are not the notes of a coroner. However s 3(1)(b) of FIPPA applies to the records as they are the personal notes of individuals acting in a quasi judicial capacity.
Langara College
Apr 1, 2010
A student requested records relating to an investigation that resulted in the College terminating her enrolment in her educational program. The College withheld all records in their entirety under s. 22(1). Section 22(1) does not apply to information solely about the applicant or information of which she was already aware from participating in the conversations and actions documented and from receiving other documentation from the College. Section 22(1) applies to some information solely about third parties and of which the applicant was not already aware.
Grearter Vancouver Regional District
Jan 7, 2010
The GVRD made successful representations to AG Canada urging it to stay proceedings of a private prosecution launched against it under the federal Fisheries Act. The applicant, an environmental group aiding in the private prosecution, later sought access to the records between the GVRD and the AG Canada concerning the stay decision. The GVRD refused on the basis that the records were protected by solicitor-client privilege and that disclosure would reveal information relating to or used in the exercise of prosecutorial discretion under s. 15(1)(g) of FIPPA. Disclosure of the records is ordered. Legal professional privilege does not apply because the records were communications between a lawyer and a third party. Litigation privilege, if it existed, expired because litigation between the parties ended and the possibility of future related litigation was entirely speculative. Section 15(1)(g) of FIPPA did not apply to discretion exercised by federal prosecutors.
Vancouver Police Department
Nov 6, 2009
The applicant requested access to records related to the VPD's homicide investigation of the 1992 death of a named individual. The VPD initially refused access to all of the records under s. 22(3)(b) of FIPPA. It later added other exceptions and disclosed some records. The VPD is required to withhold the remaining third-party personal information under s. 22(1).
Vancouver Police Department
Nov 6, 2009
The applicant requested access to records related to the 1989 death of a named individual. The VPD initially withheld all records under s. 22(3)(b). It later added other exceptions and disclosed a few pages. The VPD are required to withhold the remaining third-party personal information under s. 22(1).
Vancouver Police Department
Nov 6, 2009
The applicant requested access to records related to the “police involved shooting” in 2004 of a named individual. The VPD initially refused access to all of the records under s. 22(3)(b). It later added other exceptions and argued that additional records were excluded under s. 66.1 of the Police Act. It also released some records. The VPD are required to withhold the remaining third-party personal information under s. 22(1). Certain other pages are excluded from the scope of FIPPA under s. 66.1 of the Police Act.
Ministry of Health Service
Oct 28, 2009
The Applicant sought records relating to the third party’s business dealings with the Ministry, including contracts, research agreements and correspondence. The third party objected to their disclosure under s. 21 of FIPPA. The Ministry failed to prove that requested records were confidentially supplied or that their disclosure would harm the business interests of the third party.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority
Oct 27, 2009
An applicant requested all records related to her application for, and denial of, employment as a nurse, including complete information related to references. VCHA refused access under s. 22(1) to references on the grounds that the third parties supplied them in confidence in accordance with s. 22(3)(h). VCHA’s decision to refuse access under s. 22(1) is confirmed.
South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority
Oct 7, 2009
The applicant requested salary and severance information concerning SkyTrain employees for the years 2002 to 2005. Section 22(4)(e) does not apply to the requested information in this case. However, TransLink, as the public body responsible for the information, is required to disclose it following consideration of all relevant factors under s. 22, including the need for public scrutiny.
City of Fernie
Aug 28, 2009
An applicant requested plans from the City of Fernie submitted by a third party to obtain a permit to build a house. The third party argued that disclosing the plans would unreasonably invade his privacy and result in harm to his business interests. Those arguments were without merit and the City was required to disclose the plans. The information in the plans, consisting primarily of external drawings of the house, was for the most part already apparent by visual observation of the property.
Canada Line Rapid Transit Inc.
Aug 11, 2009
Applicant requested access to the concession agreement for the Canada Line rapid transit project. Canada Line disclosed the concession agreement in severed form, withholding information under ss. 15, 16, 17 and 21. Canada Line and InTransit BC did not establish a reasonable expectation of harm flowing from disclosure. All withheld information is ordered disclosed.
BC Pavilion Corporation
Jul 29, 2009
The Vancouver Sun requested any reports on the long term viability of BC Place. PavCo’s decision to apply s. 13(1) to information in a 2006 report on infrastructure improvements is confirmed.
Ministry of Labour
Jun 22, 2009
The applicant requested the Ministry wai