COVID-19 and the OIPC

The OIPC continues to provide service to the public, public bodies, and private sector. To protect the health of our employees and to do our part to slow community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, most OIPC staff have now transitioned to working remotely. This will mean that, for the time being, our Office will not receive in person visits from those we serve. We will post updates on our website and social media channels as the situation continues to unfold.

“We are at the dawn of a watershed change in the amount of data out there about us. It is created by us, about us. The stakes are high: will we use it for personal insight, and to build smarter, more sustainable communities, or will we use it for control, surveillance, and profit? Only by understanding the revolution already underway can we debate where we want it to go.” – Nora Young, The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us (McClelland & Stewart, 2012).

“The best weapon of a dictatorship is secrecy, but the best weapon of a democracy should be the weapon of openness.” Niels Bohr. Danish physicist (1885-1962).

“Last Thursday, I released a report about a breach involving a lost portable hard drive containing the educational data of 3.4 million individuals. Information assets, particularly the personal information of citizens, deserve the same respect, rigour and control as the management of financial assets… a loss, for example, of $3.4 million would be highly unlikely.” -- Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for B.C., from a speech to the 17th Annual Privacy & Security Conference, Victoria, B.C., Feb.5, 2016.

“In my view, privacy and research are partners, not adversaries, in the pursuit of better health outcomes. Protecting privacy and promoting research are both laudable public policy goals and both are important to British Columbians.” - Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Op ed, Vancouver Sun, Thursday, August 16, 2012.

“Bill C-51 opens the door to collecting, analyzing and potentially keeping forever the personal information of all Canadians in order to find the virtual needle in the haystack. To my mind, that goes too far.” Daniel Therrien, Privacy Commissioner of Canada, Op ed, The Globe and Mail, Friday, March 6, 2015.

“Historically, privacy was almost implicit, because it was hard to find and gather information. But in the digital world, whether it's digital cameras or satellites or just what you click on, we need to have more explicit rules –not just for governments but for private companies.” - Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, (Nov 12, 2013)

“I believe privacy as a fundamental value is important to us. The Internet has not diminished its importance to citizens and consumers. Privacy is about preserving our sense of self. Private time and private space are necessary to reflect, share intimacies, create friendships and address problems. Privacy means we, not others, control what information we share, and in what contexts.” - Elizabeth Denham, Information and Privacy Commissioner for British Columbia, Op ed, Vancouver Sun, Friday Jan. 28, 2011.

“I believe that a guarantee of public access to government information is indispensable in the long run for any democratic society…. if officials make public only what they want citizens to know, then publicity becomes a sham and accountability meaningless.” - Sissela Bok, Swedish philosopher (1982).

Check out our latest PrivacyRight products!

This month, learn about accountability and the benefits of implementing a privacy management program. We have several online tools for you to explore, including two webinars (each with printer-friendly notes), a video, and podcast. Dig a little deeper with our related guidance documents, then take our privacy assessment challenge.