Monday, December 22, 2008

Privatizing our Privacy: Questions We need Answered

Fourth & Final Installment of the series: Privatizing Your Privacy.

This is the information that EDS now has for each and every one of us, via the
Provincial Revenue contracts:

- driver's licence records, vehicle registration information, insurance information
- income assistance and student loan applications
- medical information (all MSP billing history)
- ambulance (where you were picked up and driven to)
- Social Insurance Number
- birthdate
- address (current and historical list of address from opening of any account to present)
- personal property and asset information
- credit information
- liabilities (who you owe money to currently and in the past, how much, monthly payments, credit card numbers)
- bank account #s
- if you are an owner (or otherwise) of a company
- place of employment (current and historical)
- your income and sources of income (EI, etc.)
- income of your spouse or common law partner
- amount of child support payment you receive or pay
- amount of child tax benefit and/or GST you receive
- your monthly expenses (rent, mortgage, how much you spend on food, telephone, cable, utilities, bus passes, car loan, child care, clothing)
- stocks, bonds, RRSPs
- BC Online:
- Personal Property Reg.
- Site Registry
- Corporate Registry
- BC Assessment
- Land Titles
- Rural Property Tax
- Home Owner Grant (current and history of houses or property owned)
- Skip Trace Unit (BC Hydro uses to search out of province driver's licence in Canada or U.S.)
- Equifax (all credit information; an inquiry by Provincial Revenue does not show up in Equifax history sent to individual)

**** courtesy of Kaybertoss
Questions to ask of the BC government:

- Do they have a corporate policy on privacy breaches?
- Since EDS received contracts for Provincial Revenue work, have there been any breaches of citizen's privacy rights?
- Have these been reported to the Office of the Information & Privacy Commissioner?
- Who is in charge of reporting breaches?
- Have citizens been informed of breaches of their privacy?
- Is the information considered to be covered under the Freedom of Information & Protection of Privacy Act, or Personal Information Protection Act?

***Personal information is collected directly by the BC government, but then is privatized and under the care of a private corporation so which act applies?
- Where is this set out for citizen's understanding of the correct application of the Act?

Important Questions to be Answered before EDS is Awarded the Government Infrastructure Contract

We also have to wonder, what are the specific details of how the contract will be managed. These include:

- Who will assume authority and responsibility for managing this contract in BC?
- What government body and authority will have oversight and report out on the value for service and service delivery?
- What information will be transferred, transmitted and held by the contractor? Will it be digital data, hard copies, originals, copies, e-mails, written correspondence, hard drives, discs ...?
- How will BC's personal and private information be transferred, transmitted and delivered to the contractor?
- Who will have oversight of that in light of the serious breaches of privacy of subsidiaries of HP-EDS?
- What plans are in place to keep information secure during transfer, or transmission of data?
- What safety protocol will be in place for physical transfer of hard discs or laptops with highly personal information collected by government?
- Where will all of this information be stored? In BC, in Canada, the US, internationally? Where will the servers be? Who will have access to their servers and discs?
- Will other corporate entities have access to our information through other contracts with HP-EDS?
- Will BC be able to sue the transnational contractors for breaches of privacy rights for loss of data and records?
- What assurances will BC have that the integrity of our data will remain intact & our privacy protected?
- How will BC citizens know if their privacy has been compromised?
- Is there a disclosure agreement in the contract that the contractor will immediately notify the BC government and citizens of the province if they're privacy rights are breached? Who will monitor adherence to that contractual obligation?
- Will BC's citizens get to see the full terms of the contract? Who will before it's signed?
- Will this be a better thing for BC?
- What if HP-EDS goes down?
- What if they sell maintenance and operations to another transnational?
- Will we even know who has access and control of our information, or when?
- Is it in the public's interest to have our BC government transfer unknown millions of dollars to a very new transnational entity with such a negligent record?

Why Privatize Now, What's the Rush to have BC Spend Millions Heading into a Deep Recession?

Currently, the BC government apparently only has 115 full-time employees on the payroll to perform the important work of keeping BC's personal, private and confidential information safe and secure. Is it really worth the risk of BC's citizens privacy rights and security to privatize and outsource these jobs?

Should BC be signing multi-million dollar, multi-year contracts with transnational corporations at this time of economic uncertainty?

Why the rush? Why now? Even the neoCon economists can't avoid recognizing we're heading into a Deep Recession and we're only at the very beginning.

As citizens of BC, we should be asking ourselves why Gordon Campbell and his neoConLiberals are wanting to shovel millions of BC taxpayer dollars out of BC into the hungry mouth of a transnational corporation with a sketchy and troubling record of handling other governments’ and citizens personal and private information.

This is a Ruinous & Reckless Plan for BC

At BC Liberals Suck, we don't think this is a good plan, it's not good governance, leadership or management and it is NOT in the interests of the public good.

We believe that Gordon Campbell and his BC Liberals must cease and desist from proceeding with the plan to privatize BC's entire infrastructure. Once it's gone, it won't be coming back and we'll have no control over our government infrastructure and information again. EVER.

Please help stop Gordon Campbell's plan to Privatize Our Privacy:


Find your MLA

Gordon Campbell:

E-mail: or

Phone: 250 387-1715; Phone: 604 660-3202 (Vancouver office)
250 387-0087; Fax: 604 660-5488 (Vancouver office)

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