FIPPA Law Requires Public Bodies in B.C. to Overhaul Data Privacy Practices
FIPPA Data Privacy Requirements Prompts Large Revision of Internal Practices
FIPPA law revisions are now requiring public bodies in British Columbia to revise their own internal practices for data privacy, along with creating what is being called a privacy management program. Effective as of February 1st, 2023, public bodies governed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, are now facing mandatory reporting of privacy and data breaches directly to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.
These sweeping changes are intended to protect the sensitive and private information of British Columbia’s general public but ultimately call for organizations to conduct a major revision of how they manage, collect, and protect the data of the public. New regulations will require governmental agencies, healthcare facilities, law enforcement, social services, and educational institutions to revise and overhaul their own internal data privacy practices. Each entity will also need to develop practices for reporting privacy breaches to safeguard public information that can include everything from personal addresses, credit card information, health records, or other personal details.
FIPPA Law and Privacy Breaches
Defining what is a privacy breach is incredibly broad but the B.C. government suggests that a privacy breach encompasses any sort of theft, loss, or collection of personal information that would harm the individual. A data breach is considered, according to the government of BC, harmful when the breach could cause personal embarrassment, financial losses, or damage to property and reputation.
Not only will organizations be required by law to report a data breach, but individuals who have had their data compromised must also be notified as well without reasonable delay. Data breaches can be considered something as simple as an unintentional leak of private information, or a full compromise of an organization’s own internal network. The government of B.C. is also calling for these public bodies to adhere to very strict requirements when it comes to written notification of a privacy breach. Now, public bodies will be required to provide details regarding the nature of the breach, what the organization has done to address the breach, and suggested next steps for the individual.
FIPPA Laws: What is a Privacy Management Program?
All public bodies will be required to create a privacy management program with a number of key requirements. There are seven different elements to what is included in a privacy management program in B.C.
- The designation of a privacy officer specifically for the public body who will be a main contact for privacy matters, will develop and maintain privacy policies, and work to maintain the organization’s compliance with FIPPA laws and requirements.
- The creation of a process that documents privacy impact assessments is required by the government of B.C.
- The development of internal practices for response to either privacy complaints or breaches.
- Creation of ongoing internal practices that promote these new privacy regulations among an organization’s workforce.
- The creation of privacy processes and practices for staff and relevant public persons.
- Development of measures that ensure all service providers are aware of privacy obligations.
- Implementation of procedures that monitor and update the public body’s new privacy management program to ensure ongoing compliance with FIPPA laws.
FIPPA Laws and Consequences for Non-Compliance
Should a public body be found to have collected personal information and violated any part of FIPPA law, fines can range anywhere between $50,000 for individuals and up to half a million dollars for corporations. Some public bodies will find challenges navigating the dizzying amount of requirements to ensure compliance with FIPPA, revising some, if not all of their internal practices for managing sensitive public information. The full list of requirements as published by the B.C. government can be found here.
FIPPA Law Compliance and Data Privacy Measures
Mjolnir Security remains highly capable of enhancing any organization’s current Incident Response plans that satisfy the requirements of new FIPPA privacy legislation. Remain highly compliant with the province’s new privacy breach requirements, and work alongside a qualified cybersecurity company that can help your organization develop a comprehensive and robust Privacy Management Program.
Build incident response practices, revise your own internal data privacy processes, and engage in conversations with cybersecurity specialists to identify, classify, and report on data privacy and risk impacting your organization. We continue to work alongside c-suite executives, steering and audit committees, law enforcement, and government agencies that are navigating the hurdles of FIPPA regulations in 2023.
Mjolnir Security is capable of making these complex requirements incredibly easy to not only understand but to fulfill as well. The costs of revising your own data privacy practices and the creation of a Privacy Management Program are incredibly small in comparison to the financial and reputational risks that are now present.
Contact us today to learn more about your options including FIPPA compliance, data security, and safeguards for protecting the private information of the public you work alongside.