The CCLA believes that a strong access to information and protection of personal privacy regime is crucial to a vibrant democracy. Information about how our government functions assists the populace in making informed choices at the ballot box, participating meaningfully in policy discussions, and is a way to ensure that those in government are held accountable for their decisions. Privacy, on the other hand, protects a sphere of individual autonomy within which people have the right “to be let alone” and on which the state cannot intrude without permission. Democracy requires both.
A healthy democracy must counterpoise the right of access to information with the privacy rights of individuals, striking a principled balance between the two—the point of equilibrium where democratic society thrives, sustained by the freedoms afforded by individual privacy.
Like other privacy and access to information laws in Canada, British Columbia’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act has strayed from this equilibrium.
The Special Committee to Review the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act is undertaking a review of BC’s public sector privacy and access legislation. CCLA’s submissions to the review highlight some key priority areas.
You can review the submissions here.
By: Tom Naciuk
About the Canadian Civil Liberties Association
The CCLA is an independent, non-profit organization with supporters from across the country. Founded in 1964, the CCLA is a national human rights organization committed to defending the rights, dignity, safety, and freedoms of all people in Canada.
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