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Privacy papers specific to British Columbia and BC Post-Secondary

  • Privacy and Cloud-based Educational Technology Conference 2011 Final Report – Summary of recommendations (full version here as 6-page PDF)
  • Anonymizing Student Access to Cloud-based services This paper (PDF, 8 pages) by Tony Patrick explores the creation of a mechanism that would protect privacy yet support student access to desired online services that are hosted in jurisdictions subject to the Patriot Act.
  • Privacy and Cloud-based Educational Technology in British Columbia: a background paper ABSTRACT: Seeking a balance between the risks and benefits of using social media and cloud-based technology, B.C. post-secondary institutions have approached this issue in a diversity of ways. All have one thing in common: the need for clarity around what is or is not aligned with B.C.’s privacy legislation. A background paper from BCcampus (PDF).
  • Privacy Guidelines for Instructors Vancouver Island University has produced a set of guidelines for instructors in the use of social media in a learning environment. Titled Privacy Guide for Faculty Using 3rd Party Web Technology (Social Media) in Public Post-Secondary Courses (PDF)
  • Social Media Guidelines for the Public Service In early November 2010 the B.C. government (Ministry of Citizen’s Services) released OCIO_social_media_guidelines (PDF, 7 pages) by the public service. However, the guidelines did not address the questions many in the post-secondary sector have about using cloud computing services at an institutional level.

Ministerial Order M 030

Following is the text of Ministerial Order No. M 030, that allowed government use of social media in 2009:

I, Ben Stewart, Minister of Citizens’ Services, order the following under section 33.1(3) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.B.C 1996, c. 165:

  1. A public body may disclose personal information outside of Canada through social media sites if both of the following conditions apply:
    1. The personal information was previously disclosed on a social media site by the individual who is the subject of the personal information;
    2. The head of the public body is satisfied that
      1. i.     the personal information was obtained or compiled for the purpose of enabling the public body to engage individuals inside and outside British Columbia in public discussion and promotion respecting proposed or existing initiatives, policies, proposals, programs and legislation of the public body, or
      2. ii.     that disclosure would be consistent with the purpose described in subparagraph (i).
  2. For greater certainty, “personal information” includes the name, image, or opinion of an individual.
  3. For the purposes of this order, “social media site” means an Internet site that encourages users to share information including text, audio, video and photographs, and includes blogs, wikis and platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and MySpace.

This order is rescinded three years from the date it is signed and, on the date this order is rescinded, all disclosure of personal information under this order must end.

Q & A on the Patriot Act and BC’s Privacy Legislation

An excerpt from the attached PDF (from the government of BC):

(1) Subject to subsection (2), the following are sources of information available to the public, which are prescribed for the purposes of sections 12 (1) (e), 15 (1) (e) and 18 (1) (e) of the Act:

(a) the name, address, telephone number and other personal information of a subscriber that appears in a telephone directory or is available through Directory Assistance if

(i) the directory or the directory assistance service is available to the public, and

(ii) the subscriber is permitted to refuse to have his or her personal information included in the directory or made available by directory assistance;

(b) personal information of an individual that appears in a professional or business directory, listing or notice that is available to the public, if the individual is permitted to refuse to have his or her personal information included in the directory;

(c) personal information appearing in a registry to which the public has a right of access, if the personal information is collected under the authority of an enactment, the laws of the government of Canada or a province or the bylaws of a municipality or other similar local authority in Canada;

(d) personal information that appears in a printed or electronic publication that is available to the public, including a magazine, book or newspaper in printed or electronic form.