BC Government responds to USA PATRIOT Act threat with stronger privacy laws

| October 08, 2004
The BC Government has introduced amendments to its privacy legislation in a move designed to address concerns that US authorities can secretly access BC residents\' private medical records if those records are outsourced to private companies with US links. The amendments restrict public bodies and service providers to whom they outsource from storing, accessing or disclosing personal information outside Canada. Unauthorized disclosure would be an offence subject to fines ranging from $2,000 for an individual to up to $500,000 for a corporation. The new law would also require reporting of foreign demands for disclosure of personal information, and would protect "whistleblowers" from retribution for such reporting.