On June 2, 2022, the Government of British Columbia (B.C.) passed the Anti-Racism Data Act (the Act). B.C. is the first province in Canada to pass legislation that provides for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by public bodies (within the province) for the purposes of identifying and eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity.
The Act focuses on four key areas. These areas are:
The Act provides that “a public body may collect personal information for the purposes of identifying and eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity.” It is important to note that all disclosures of personal information by individuals for the purposes of identifying and eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity is voluntary. Except for limited circumstances, public bodies that collect such personal information cannot withhold or limit any benefits or services to individuals who decline to provide their information.
Under the Act, before a public body can use personal information for the purposes of identifying and eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity, the public body must first publish a notice stating:
The Act also provides that: (1) data standards may be established regarding the variables and values for personal information that may be collected, used, and disclosed; and (2) data directives may be issued that, among other things, addresses the security of information or the de-identification of personal information.
Summary By: Olalekan (Wole) Akinremi
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