Public Engagement Survey
In 2016, the OIPC contracted Sentis through BC Statistics to conduct a survey of British Columbians to measure awareness of the OIPC and access to information and privacy rights. Highlights of the results are available below.
An online consumer panel was used as a sample source for the eight minute survey. Survey data was collected between December 13 and December 20, 2016.
Summary of Results
One-third (33%) of BC residents have actively sought out information about their privacy and access to information rights. The first thing the majority of these residents do is type their privacy-related query into a search engine (64%); 20% search specifically for the website of the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner for BC (OIPC).
Awareness and Knowledge of Privacy Laws, Acts and the OIPC
Just under half of BC residents (46%) are familiar with BC’s access to information and privacy laws – however, only 3% consider themselves to be very familiar with these laws. Awareness of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA/FOIPPA) is higher (62%) than awareness of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) (43%).
BC residents are generally aware of their privacy rights – 8-in-10 know that they have the right to have errors in their personal information corrected, to be informed regarding how their information will be used and that they can request access to their personal information.
Perceptions and Attitudes about Privacy and Access to Information
Just over half of BC residents (52%) have refused to provide their personal information to an organization. However, only 18% have asked a company how it uses personal information or protects personal privacy.
The great majority (86%) of residents would specifically choose to do business with companies that have good reputations for privacy practices, and three-quarters (75%) would choose to do business with companies that do not collect personal information.
BC residents believe that the public has a fundamental right to access government information. They also believe that access to information ensures government accountability and is critical to a well-functioning democracy.
While residents want government to make it easy for the public to access information, they are not highly satisfied with their current level of access to government information. Also, they are not highly confident when it comes to understanding how their personal information is used or protected, and how new technologies will impact their privacy.
Impact of Mishandling of Personal Information
Attitudes Regarding Public Access to Information
Data and scores reflecting the BC government's performance on timeliness from 2009/10 to 2013/14.
The OIPC uses data visualizations so individuals can interact with the data we work with. You can check out our Tableau Public account for the latest data viz, or check out these examples of our work: