Privacy and FOI Update

Quite a lot of water has gone under the bridge since our last update on privacy and freedom of information. Our goal here is to highlight key trends while pointing you to significant Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) and court decisions since our last update.

We are confident that you are familiar with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), with both its freedom of information and privacy rules. Its goals are stated in the law: to make public bodies – including local governments – more accountable to the public, while also protecting privacy.

FIPPA gives the public, anyone who makes a request to a public body, a right of access to records in custody or control of a local government. FIPPA contains several exemptions to this default right of access. We discuss recent cases about some of these, such as solicitor-client privilege.

FIPPA also has rules governing the collection, use and disclosure of individuals’ personal information by local governments and other public bodies. We discuss recent developments in this area as well, including recent amendments related to disclosure of personal information outside Canada.

Our overall message is that freedom of information and privacy are fast-moving, ever-changing, topics, globally and at home and our goal here is to offer a snapshot of selected recent developments for local governments in British Columbia.

Download pdf: Privacy and FOI Update