BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act – Implications for Higher Ed

The research and higher education community must often weigh the risks and benefits around collecting and disclosing personal information. Because the circulation of information is a necessity as well as a technologically complex operation at university campuses, there is a need for clarity around which aspects of handling personal information are and are not aligned with British Columbia’s privacy legislation.

A panel of privacy officers and experts from British Columbia’s universities will explore the implications of the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) from an IT perspective. After providing a high-level overview of the FIPPA, the panel will discuss how to comply with the legislative requirements around protection of privacy without compromising the institution’s IT programs and services. Topics covered will include “Privacy Pitfalls of Cloud Computing”; “Privacy Impact Assessments – What You Need to Know”; and “Are You Ready to Respond to a Privacy Breach?”

Panel Participants

Paul Hancock, Access and Privacy Manager, University of British Columbia

Paul holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Ottawa and a law degree from UBC.  He joined the City of Vancouver in 1998 as the Manager, Corporate Information and Privacy. While at the City, Paul also served as the Deputy Chief Election Officer, in which capacity he was responsible for organizing and running the 2008 Vancouver civic election. Paul joined the University of British Columbia as Access and Privacy Manager in 2010.

Bill Trott, Privacy Officer, University of Victoria

Bill Trott has been the University of Victoria privacy officer since December, 2008, and is currently the Manager, Privacy, Access and Policy. Previously Bill worked as the Director, Integration for eHealth Privacy and Legislation, Ministry of Health, British Columbia from April, 2007 to December, 2008. He was the acting director and a portfolio officer in the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia from 1994. Previously he was with the Offices of the Ombudsman in British Columbia and Ontario, Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office, Province of Ontario, and the Community Legal Assistance Society in Vancouver, BC. He graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria and was adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at UBC. His publications include “Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy” in Annual Review of Law and Practice, The Continuing Legal Education Society of B.C. and a chapter in A Legal Handbook for the Helping Professional, Second and Third Editions.


Craig Neelands, Information and Privacy Coordinator, Simon Fraser University

Craig Neelands is the Information and Privacy Officer at Simon Fraser University. He began working at SFU in 1994 as a contract archivist and later as a records management archivist. With Ian Forsyth, he developed SFU’s first comprehensive records management program including setup of a university records centre and the implementation of records retention schedules and disposal authorities. In 1996 he began working as Information and Privacy Officer. His duties include processing formal requests for information under BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and providing privacy compliance advice to University departments.

Prior to SFU, Craig worked as an archives and records management consultant with a diverse range of clients including the City of Richmond, the University of British Columbia, BC Records Management Services Ltd. and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia.

After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in history at SFU, Craig worked for the Province of British Columbia as a records analyst. In 1983 with the staff of the then newly established Records Management Branch he developed the first records management program for the provincial government including the introduction of administrative and operational records classification systems and records retention and disposal schedules.

Session Format

Panel Discussion

Intended Audience

Policy Makers, Security Officials, IT, General

Session Duration

60 Minutes

Session Schedule

Wednesday May 2nd, 2012

11:00-12:00 p.m.

Canfor Policy Room (1600)


Hugh Burley, Senior Technology Coordinator for Information Security, Thompson Rivers University