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British Columbia’s Privacy Legislation

Last updated on December 1, 2021

British Columbia has specific privacy legislation for organizations operating in the private sector and public sector, but lacks provincial health privacy legislation like Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario.

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia enforces PIPA and FIPPA. The Information and Privacy Commissioner is Elizabeth Denham.

Public Sector Legislation

British Columbia’s public sector privacy legislation is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Read the FIPPA regulation and the Committee of the Executive Council Regulation.

For example, FIPPA will apply to:

  • Provincial government ministries, local governments,
  • schools, school boards, colleges, universities,
  • Crown corporations (such as ICBC and BC Hydro),
  • hospitals, health authorities and self-governing professions and professional bodies,
  • agencies, boards, comissions, and
  • municipal police forces.

Private Sector Legislation

British Columbia’s private sector privacy legislation is Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and has deemed to be substantially similar to Canada’s federal privacy legislation, the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). Also, be sure to read PIPA’s regulations.

For example, PIPA will apply to:

  • Businesses, trust and not-for-profit organizations,
  • charities, associations,
  • trade unions and labour organizations.