Modernize PIPA of BC

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On December 6, 2021, the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia released a report completed by the Special Committee to modernize the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of B.C.

This report is the culmination of public submissions from numerous stakeholders, such as regulators (including the OIPC, or the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner), advocacy groups, the legal profession, technology firms, and other interested parties.

PIPA first came into law in 2003 in British Columbia and has not been substantively updated since that time. Although section 59 of PIPA requires an update every six years, the reviews conducted by committees have resulted in no changes to the law. Although a committee was formed to perform updates in early 2020, the updates were suspended due to the introduction of Bill C-11, a proposed legislation intended to modernize PIPA’s Federal equivalent, PIPEDA. The 2021 Federal election resulted in Bill C-11 being halted, with the result that the modernization of PIPA has been revived.

Although Bill C-11 did not pass, the election did not stop Bill 64, a modernization of the Quebecois privacy legislation to receive Royal Assent. Bill 64 became law in September 2021. With the update of other provincial privacy legislation, B.C. is likely to follow suit, especially given that PIPA is dated and has not kept current with technological and socioeconomic developments.

At this time, the report is not law, but is a document summarizing the purpose of the modernization. Its overall goals are:

  • To provide better privacy protection for the general public
  • To harmonize PIPA with other domestic and international laws
  • To ensure that the private sector continues to remain innovative and not be at a competitive disadvantage due to aging legislation

The report provides a preview of what may pass into law.

What does this mean for your business?

The following changes have been proposed in the report.

How can help?

We offer a number of privacy-related offerings that can help you achieve compliance, including the following:

  • Privacy Gap Assessments: a review of your company’s privacy program, with recommendations for alignment and improvement to help you get compliant
  • Privacy Impact Assessments: a completed PIA of your company’s product, with evaluation of risks and measures to mitigate
  • Data Privacy Officer (DPO) as a Service: access to Kobalt’s privacy expert to assist you on privacy-related queries, including breach response

On January 26th, 2022, we are hosting a lunch and learn with our privacy lead to discuss the modernization of PIPA of BC. Join us here:

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