Personal Information

Last updated on March 16, 2022

To provide a wide range of public services, government must collect, use, disclose, store and destroy the personal information of British Columbians in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).

Simply put, personal information is any recorded information about an identifiable individual other than their business contact information. Personal information includes information that can be used to identify an individual through association or inference.

Personal information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Name, age, sex, weight, height
  • Home address and phone number
  • Race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation
  • Medical information
  • Health care history, including physical or mental disability
  • Number or symbol assigned to the individual 
  • Income, purchases and spending habits
  • Blood type, DNA code, fingerprints
  • Marital or family status
  • Religion
  • Education
  • Financial information 
  • Criminal information
  • Employment information
  • Personal views or opinions, except if they are about someone else  

The guide to good privacy practices offers personal information management guidelines for public sector organizations, including more information about what constitutes personal information.

Personal Information Directory

The Personal Information Directory (PID) documents the government’s personal information holdings to help the public identify the location of their personal information.

Find out when you need to list information in the PID.

Private Businesses & Organizations

There are rules that all private sector and not for-profit organizations in B.C. must follow  to collect, use or disclose personal information about customers.

Contact Information

If you have questions or concerns about personal information, contact your ministry privacy officer or the Privacy Helpline at: