Ever wanted to have your opinions heard by key decision makers in B.C.? Now’s your chance. Our own David Christopher has been invited to present the pro-Internet community’s concerns about privacy to key MLAs of the B.C. Legislature. David will be offering testimony about the privacy implications of B.C.’s Personal Information Privacy Act (PIPA).

PIPA is the provincial equivalent of the federal Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA). It sets out how many commercial entities in British Columbia should safeguard their customers’ privacy. There are a number of key concerns with PIPA in its current form:

  • It allows for your personal information to be handed to government authorities without a warrant, and without your consent.
  • It allows for your personal information to be handed to other organizations, in some circumstances without your consent.
  • Citizens don’t even get notified that their information has been handed over without their consent.
  • Warrantless requests for private information were recently ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, and B.C.’s provincial legislation needs to be updated to reflect that.

Ever since we discovered that government authorities obtained private information about Canadians 1.2 million times in just 12 months (that’s one Canadian every 27 seconds), our community has been fighting hard for stronger laws to protect our privacy from government spying. You’ve been speaking out, and decision-makers are listening; now we need to drive our message home.

Let us know what you want David to tell the committee in the comments below, or leave your thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and reddit. We welcome feedback from right across Canada, but if you’re from British Columbia this is an especially useful opportunity to speak up and help shape stronger privacy protections that work for all of us — so please make sure to let us know what town you’re from in B.C.

This is an important meeting of key B.C. MLAs who are considering whether to renew laws that permit the government and private entities to access your private information without a warrant, without your consent, and without even notifying you. That’s why it’s so important for you to speak out in the comments and let us know what concerns you. The key questions we need to answer are:

  • Why is your online privacy important to you?
  • Do you believe that government authorities should need to get a warrant before accessing your personal, sensitive information?
  • Do you believe you should be informed when your personal information is disclosed to the government or to private organizations without your consent?
  • Do you believe B.C.’s privacy rules should be updated to bring them into line with the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent landmark decision that warrantless requests for your information are unconstitutional?

This is your chance to help make positive change happen — make sure to comment before September 5, 2014 below or on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and reddit. We’ll pull together your input and take your voices straight to key MLAs.

As long-time OpenMedia community members know, we can uphold Canadians’ privacy when we speak up together. We helped defeat Vic Toews’ legislation that would have allowed public officials access to a frightening amount of Canadians’ private information. And we’re piling on the pressure to finally put a stop to Peter MacKay’s hugely unpopular online spying Bill C-13 — legislation that even his own party’s supporters oppose by a massive margin. Now this is our chance to really help make a positive difference for British Columbians.

Remember, David needs to hear from you — tell us what you think he should highlight when he meets with key MLAs. And remember, if you’re from B.C., be sure to let us know where you’re from.

We can have a strong impact when we speak together, so make sure to add your voice and let us know what you want David to tell MLAs in the comments section below.

Be sure to send us your input before Wednesday, September 5 as we’ll be pulling all your input together to take it directly to MLAs the following week. You can also take part in this discussion on Facebook, Google+, reddit, and Twitter.

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