The Government of British Columbia is committed to protecting the privacy of people whose personal information is held by government through responsible information management practices. Any personal information provided to the Government of B.C. is collected, used and disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other applicable legislation.
What is personal information?
Personal information is recorded information about an identifiable individual. Personal information includes such things as an individual’s name, address, birth date, e-mail address and phone number. When the Government of B.C. collects personal information it must identify:
- the purpose for collecting the personal information,
- the legal authority for collecting it, and
- the title, business address and business telephone number of an officer or employee of the ministry or other government body who can answer your questions about the collection of that information.
What kind of information is being collected?
If you visit a B.C. government web site to browse, read pages, or download information, we will gather and store certain information about the visit. The following information is automatically collected and stored:
The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used. The Internet Protocol address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider (e.g. gov.bc.ca, xcompany.com or yourschool.edu);
- The type of browser and operating system;
- The date and time of the visit; and
- The web pages or services accessed.
Information collected automatically is used for purposes such as assessing system performance, improving web services and web site management. The Government of B.C. does not use this data to determine your identity unless required to do so as part of an internal investigation or other law enforcement purpose.
Information collected directly from you
Personal information collected, used, disclosed and retained by a B.C. Government website is done so under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act or other relevant legislation. Personal information will only be used by authorized staff to fulfill the purpose for which it was originally collected, or for a use consistent with that purpose unless you expressly consent otherwise. We do not disclose your information to other public bodies or individuals except as authorized by the FOIPP Act.
The B.C. Government does not collect personal information about you unless you voluntarily provide it to use specific online services. However, if you choose not to provide the information required for online services you may still be able to access government services by traditional methods such as personal contact, fax or mail. Your decision not to participate in electronic service delivery activities will not impair your ability to browse the web site, read or download any information provided on the site.
If you believe that your personal information is being used for a purpose other than what was intended please direct your inquiries to the following contacts.
What safeguards are in place?
The Government of B.C. is obligated to protect your personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against such risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day operating practices as part of government’s continuing commitment to the protection of personal information it holds.
How long is the information retained?
The length of retention will vary in relation to the nature of the service. If the Government of B.C. uses your personal information to make a decision that directly affects you, it must retain that information for at least one year so that you have a reasonable opportunity to obtain access to it. Information collected or created by the Government of B.C. is maintained in accordance with government’s records retention schedules and other legislative requirements.
How can I access and correct information I submit to a website?
You can review any personal information collected about you by submitting a Freedom of Information request. You may request changes or annotate your personal information if you believe it to be inaccurate by submitting a written request describing the error. Please contact the ministry or other government body holding your personal information. The Knowledge and Information Services Branch may be contacted for general information.
Links to other sites
A cookie is a small file stored on your computer by your web browser when using some internet sites. Cookies can also store personal information such as your name, e-mail address, home or work address, or telephone number. Persistent cookies can use this type of personal information to identify you whenever you access a web site. Sessional cookies are used to help you move around our web site and do not store personal information. Sessional cookies are valid only during the time you are actually using the web site.
The Government of B.C. does not use persistent cookies (which may store personal information) but may use sessional cookies (which do not store personal information).
If you have a complaint or concern about your personal information, please contact the ministry or other government body. If your complaint is not resolved to your satisfaction the FOIPP Act provides a mechanism for independent review by contacting the Information and Privacy Commissioner.