B.C. government wants to permit transborder flow of personal data
Six years ago, the B.C. government tightened its privacy law to prevent the public sector from disclosing personal information beyond Canada’s borders. Now the provincial government wants to loosen that restriction on the storage and access of information outside the country.
As part of a comprehensive review of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)—which must be undertaken at least every six years—the B.C. government has proposed several amendments to reflect the fact that the world is a very different place than when the legislation first came into force in October 1993. (B.C. and Nova Scotia are the only Canadian jurisdictions that have public-sector laws restricting the transborder flow of personal information out of Canada.)
One of the changes would involve amending provisions in the law that prohibit, with a few exceptions, the storage of information outside of Canada, to reflect developments in information technology (IT) and “advancements that make jurisdictional boundaries artificial, including social networking and other Internet tools and mechanisms that can promote stronger citizen engagement, and to take advantage of commercial and economic opportunities for storage and management of information, including ‘cloud computing.’ ”
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By: Christopher Guly