The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner works with regulators in other jurisdictions to promote awareness and compliance with access and privacy laws.
The following are some of the initiatives undertaken by the BC Office beyond its borders.
Canadian cooperation on private sector privacy
Since 2004, the Commissioners of British Columbia, Alberta and Canada have worked together to provide the public with comprehensive privacy protection as well as practical advice on private sector privacy.
In 2022, the President of the Commission d’accès à l’information of Quebec joined the Commissioners in signing a renewed Memorandum of Understanding outlining how they will continue to work together. The previous MOU signed by BC, Alberta and Canada and a news release on the aims of the cooperation are available here.
Some of the past joint initiatives of the Commissioners have included:
Big Data Surveillance
The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports post-secondary based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences. SSHRC strategically supports world-leading initiatives that reflect a commitment to ensuring a better future for Canada and the world.
The OIPC was a partner in the Big Data Surveillance research project (2015-2021). Big data is referred to in the project’s public report as the large-scale collection, aggregation, analysis and use of data by and about people, things and the interactions between them, in order to generate otherwise inaccessible predictions and insights. And surveillance is understood as any systematic, routine and focused attention to personal details for management, control, protection and influence.
The research project examined the use and consequences of surveillance using big data processes in the context of security, marketing and governance.
A public report and series of videos has been released in conjunction with the project’s wrap up conference. That report, Beyond Big Data Surveillance: Freedom and Fairness, offers a plain language summary of the main research findings, both in terms of the problems and challenges raised by this type of surveillance and recommendations going forward.
A series of short videos was also produced where the key concepts in the report are explained and discussed by conference panelists, project researchers and partners.
The OIPC was pleased to partner in this research as part of our legislative mandate to engage in research and inform the public about privacy and privacy issues.
Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA)
BC was a signatory to the 2010 renewal of APPA, which brings together privacy regulators in Pacific Rim countries for cooperation and collaboration. APPA convenes twice a year, sharing jurisdictional reports and discussing topical issues including privacy and security, cross-jurisdictional law enforcement in the Pacific Rim, privacy legislation amendments, and personal data privacy. APPA and its members promote Privacy Awareness Week, which takes place in the spring of each year. For more information about APPA, visit their website.
Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN)
Founded in September 2010, GPEN aims to facilitate cross-border cooperation in the enforcement of privacy laws. Membership in GPEN enables privacy regulators from around the world to work more closely as they address risks to the personal information of their citizens. The BC Office was accepted as a member of the GPEN in January, 2012. For more information about GPEN, visit www.privacyenforcement.net.
Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Information and Privacy Commissioners
Information and Privacy Commissioners from across Canada meet once a year to share news from their jurisdictions and discuss issues of common concern. The Commissioners have authored joint letters and taken collective action on issues in access and privacy, including: