The B.C. government is getting stiff opposition to proposed changes to privacy laws that would make it easier for public bodies such as the RCMP to gather and share personal information about residents of the province.
A senior civil servant related told a legislative committee hearing this week that in some cases, lives could be at stake unless the laws are changed.
But New Democrat MLA Doug Routley — the committee vice-chair — said the government is going too far in its proposals.
“[It] is now seeking the right to have unlimited access in an unlimited way to shop and share the information of British Columbians wherever they please.”
One privacy watchdog group agrees with the NDP.
“Of course, everyone wants information shared where there’s human life at stake — that’s not the question,” said Darrell Evans, executive director of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.
“The question is [about] routine data sharing every day, and routine oversight of citizens lives. They will have a centralized dossier on each citizen that would make your hair stand on end.”
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