Information Access and Privacy 2021- Results

Engagement Summary

British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA) balances government’s accountability to the public through access to information, with a person’s right to privacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how government does business, with technology being used now more than ever to deliver safe and convenient services to people. Through spring and summer 2021, the Ministry of Citizens’ Services engaged with a variety of stakeholders to understand how the pandemic and growing expectations for online services have impacted how people view government information access and privacy.

Through a combination of roundtable meetings and presentations to stakeholder groups, the ministry heard from representatives from many of the over 2,900 public bodies covered by FOIPPA on improvements that could better support their operations while maintaining government’s commitment to accessible information and privacy protection. In addition, public surveys were hosted to gain insight on how the public’s perception of information access and privacy protection has changed since the  pre-COVID survey in 2018 (A summary of the results can be found here), especially in light of government expanding many services online in the last year.

Engagement Timeframe

Engagement was undertaken between April and August 2021 with B.C broader public sector bodies (such as post-secondary institutions, local governments, and health authorities), Indigenous partners, the technology sector, and the public.

Input Received

  • Over 75 organizations participated in roundtable meetings
  • Over 1,700 individuals responded to a govTogetherBC survey
  • 800 individuals participated in an Ipsos Omnibus survey

    Engagement and consultation focused on two key themes:
  • Service modernization
  • Privacy enhancement

    By gathering input from a wide range of individuals, businesses, Indigenous partners, and stakeholders, government will be well-positioned to understand what is important to people as it considers ways to improve how people’s information is protected while keeping the B.C. public sector accountable.

Input Leads to Action

The Fall 2021 proposed amendments to FOIPPA were informed by feedback in the various streams of engagement. A summary of feedback received can be found in the Information Access and Privacy – Stakeholder Consultation Overview.