B.C. moves to keep outsourced data safe from U.S. Patriot Act

Province doesn't want personal data managed by outsourced firm landing in the hands of foreign government agencies
By Uyen Vu
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 11/08/2004

Due to fears the USA Patriot Act might be used by authorities south of the border to access confidential information, at least one province has moved to prevent outsourced records from leaving Canada.

British Columbia introduced Bill 73 last month, which amends the province’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act to require government and public-sector organizations to ensure personal data managed by outsourced firms cannot land in the hands of foreign government agencies such as the FBI. The bill does not apply to the private sector.

The province’s privacy commissioner has been studying the impact of the USA Patriot Act on data stored or processed by service providers with affiliations in the United States. Bill 73, however, was tabled before commissioner David Loukidelis issued his report. (For Loukidelis’ findings, click on the related articles link below.) While the government has been criticized by the Opposition for not waiting for the commissioner’s report, it has indicated it will look at including recommendations.