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B.C. review must talk data gathering: advocate 0

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in Vancouver. (FILE PHOTO/24 HOURS)

Civil liberties related to technology are expected to be up for discussion during the public consultation for the provincial Personal Information Protection Act, says a civil liberties spokeswoman.

The last time a review of the act was conducted was in 2008 and a Vancouver lawyer said changes in technology since then should spur a discussion about how information is gathered on citizens and used.

Micheal Vonn of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association said she hopes the public brings up massive data gathering during the review.

“It’s not just ‘Do we have your information?’ it’s what are we doing with it?” Vonn said. “An example that I find the public really responds to are companies that are trying to figure out what your credit worthiness is based on your Facebook friends.”

She said another concern that could be addressed is a federal supreme court ruling originating in Alberta that found not allowing unions to film their own picket lines, and those crossing them, breached their right to free expression.

“It’s been thrown back on the respective legislatures now to figure out what is the right balance in that circumstance,” she said.

Now, according to Vonn, B.C. has proposed a “narrow exemption” for such a circumstance and an opportunity for feedback is the public consultations.

The committee undertaking the review is headed by numerous MLAs and the deadline for written submissions closes Sept. 19.

“The committee wants to hear from stakeholders and interested citizens on ways in which the legislation might be updated,” said the committee’s deputy chair George Heyman in a release.

 

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