International Co-operation

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 B.C. Office beyond its borders.

Call for essays on Online Reputation: Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

The OPC recently released a discussion paper setting out the privacy issues related to online reputation and are now inviting essays in response to the questions posed in the paper. The goal is to enrich the public debate and ensure that OPC is in a better position to inform Parliament and others on how best to address the challenges of protecting one’s reputation online and for it to develop a policy position on this issue.

The OPC is calling on individuals, organizations, academics, advocacy groups, information technologists, educators and other interested parties to respond to this discussion paper, and propose new and innovative ways to protect reputational privacy. 

The discussion paper can be found here.

Canadian co-operation 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 2014, the three Commissioners signed a renewed Memorandum of Understanding outlining how they will continue to work together.

Some of the joint initiatives of the Commissioners include:

Big Data Surveillance

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-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 will take part in a five-year study on big data surveillance, made possible by a $2.5 million SSHRC research grant. The project benefits from a network of global partners who will provide feedback on research direction and help disseminate findings. The grant will fund academic research that explores the impact of big data surveillance in areas such as law enforcement, political parties, and the broader public sector. 

Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities (APPA)

B.C. 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 co-operation 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 B.C. Office was accepted as a member of the GPEN in January, 2012. For more information about GPEN, visit

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: