November 04, 2019 - Public Sector

Amendments to Data Localization Provisions of BC's FIPPA Come into Effect

Newly adopted amendments to British Columbia (B.C.)’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 165 ("FIPPA") aim to facilitate the temporary processing and storage of personal information across international borders.  These amendments introduce new or modified exceptions to the rule that personal information in the custody or under the control of a public body be stored only in Canada and accessed only in Canada.  

The B.C. provincial government provided the following description of the amendments:

The Province is making targeted changes to keep up with modern technology, while retaining B.C.’s leading privacy protections. These amendments will allow for the use of basic office productivity tools, including email services and spam filters, which have specific functions that require temporary processing outside of Canada. Technology is changing, and these amendments will allow for a business-as-usual approach for public bodies, while bringing B.C. in to alignment with other jurisdictions in Canada.

These amendments to section 33.1(1) of FIPPA are contained in Part 3 of Bill 35, which received Royal Assent on October 31, 2019.  

The significance of this development and its practical implications will be discussed on an upcoming Monthly Privacy Call of AccessPrivacy.