Elizabeth Denham

Will B.C. Continue To Thumb Its Nose At Information Commissioner?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 04.09.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

She ended her letter to the minister with a call to action: "It is vital for open and accountable government that, whatever the form of the entity, if it is carrying on public business, it should be subject to the [Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act]." Two and a half years later, there is still no sign of action from the government.

Public Danger Warnings Slacking, Commissioner Says

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 02.01.2014 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - Public bodies in British Columbia, including the provincial government, don't do enough to warn people about potential health, safety and e...

Do Criminal Record Checks Go Too Far?

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - Concerns about the amount and type of personal information disclosed in police record checks have prompted an investigation by B.C.'s priva...

Therapeutics Initiative Resurrected

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia

VANCOUVER - The provincial government has reinstated funding for a University of British Columbia program that independently assesses the effectivenes...

What Are They Hiding From Us?

CP | Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press | Posted 09.24.2013 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - British Columbia's Privacy Commissioner says the Liberal government leads the pack when it comes to making public information that's needed...

B.C. Slammed Over Drug Data Breach

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 08.26.2013 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - The illegal release of personal information about nearly five million British Columbians by Health Ministry staff was a massive breach, say...

Stop The Ministerial Spin Cycle for a Better B.C. Government

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 07.20.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Since 2009, the Liberals have shuffled ministers in and out of the Ministers of Citizens' Services and Open Government role so quickly that there's hardly been a chance to make any meaningful progress.

B.C. Election 2013: What The Parties Plan To Tell You

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

The B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, sent all four parties a questionnaire pushing them for clear positions on how they would stop the erosion of our privacy rights and defend our access to government records through Freedom of Information. On April 30th, we received responses from the NDP, the Liberals, and the Greens (we've yet to hear back from the Conservatives). They all had interesting, if decidedly different things to say.

BC Election 2013: The Confidence Gap

Dermod Travis | Posted 06.17.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Dermod Travis

The phoney campaign has finally given way to the real thing. The writ is dropped, the legislature is dissolved and politicians are out on the hustings. And as voters know well, that means big, glitzy promises. But imagine promises that wouldn't need sod-turnings or ribbon cuttings? Meaningful promises that every party can sign-on to, because they're about good government, not party ideology.

BC Election 2013: Put Information Rights Front And Centre

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 06.12.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

A few short days from now, the writ will drop on the 2013 provincial election, kicking off twenty-eight days of heated campaigning. And while there's no shortage of issues for voters to consider, recent controversies around government secrecy and attempts to undermine Freedom of Information make it clear that information policy should be a top priority for voters.

Why Can't Victoria Police Be More Like Ottawa's Force?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 03.27.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Apparently the illegal scanning of licence plates by Victoria police will continue until fixes are implemented. Unlike their counterparts in Saanich and Ottawa, Victoria police have no intention of switching off the cameras during privacy compliance upgrades.

2012 Tough Year For B.C. Information Rights

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 02.26.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

In B.C. and across Canada, the past 12 months have seen information rights make headlines on a regular basis. And usually not in a good way. At the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, much of our year was spent (once again) in sparring matches with the provincial government over access, transparency, and privacy issues.

It Takes Two To Kill Illegal Police Licence Surveillance

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 01.22.2013 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

B.C.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner took a stiff shot at the use of Automatic License Plate Recognition technology by the Victoria police. But it will likely take more than just her efforts to bring this ever-expanding surveillance system back in line with privacy law. The RCMP simply shouldn't be running a surveillance system on people who haven't broken any law, and they shouldn't be able to take advantage of the federal-provincial jurisdictional split to do so either.

Privacy Commish Slams Licence Plate Scanning

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 01.15.2013 | Canada British Columbia

VICTORIA - A controversial technology administered by RCMP and used by police forces and law enforcement agencies across Canada to automatically scan ...

B.C. Government Drags Heels On University Subsidiary Accountability

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 12.24.2012 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

The B.C. government sure does love secrecy for its educational institutions -- or at least their subsidiary companies. What the information and privacy commissioner said would be a relatively simple change to definitions was, according to a B.C. minister, a much bigger issue requiring consultations and even changes to other sections of the act. So, a year later, what has been done? In a word: nothing.

Staggering Decline In B.C. Freedom Of Information Responses

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 11.13.2012 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Our data published by the Chief Information Officer of B.C. reveal that the FOI situation in this province has gotten significantly worse over the last decade. It seems that thousands of those pesky records have simply disappeared. The figures beg an obvious question: what happened? What brought on this staggering decline in the government's ability to find records in response to FOI requests?

B.C.'s Black Hole Of Public Information

CP | James Keller, The Canadian Press | Posted 11.13.2012 | Canada British Columbia

VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government responds to nearly a quarter of all requests under freedom-of-information laws by insisting it has no reco...

Records? What Records? Ogopogo? What Ogopogo?

Vincent Gogolek | Posted 11.05.2012 | Canada British Columbia
Vincent Gogolek

Nearly a quarter all general freedom of information requests filed with the government between July 2011 and July 2012 came back with no responsive records. None at all. Are FOI requests simply becoming too exotic and obscure? Are British Columbians suddenly asking for information about Sasquatch or Ogopogo? Or is there a bigger issue at hand -- a systemic, structural problem with the way the B.C. government is managing our information?

Do Rooftop Camera On Cop Cars Violate Your Privacy?

CP | Jeremy Nuttall, The Canadian Press | Posted 09.29.2012 | Canada Politics

VANCOUVER - B.C.'s privacy commissioner wants to know if police are complying with privacy laws when they use cameras mounted on patrol cars to photog...

Social Media Background Checks A Slippery Slope

CP | The Canadian Press | Posted 12.12.2011 | Canada

VICTORIA - British Columbia's privacy watchdog says social media should not be used to help organizations make background checks.Elizabeth Denham says...

Vancouver Riot: Privacy Czar Probes Use Of Facial Recognition Tech

The Canadian Press | Posted 09.21.2011 | Canada

THE CANADIAN PRESS -- VANCOUVER - B.C.'s information and privacy commissioner is investigating the use of facial recognition technology and provincial...