Privacy and Access to Information
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As a victim of crime, you may be concerned about the loss of privacy you experience when, for example, information about the criminal proceedings are published in the media (TV, radio or newspaper).
The openness and accessibility of the court process is an important principle of our justice system. Only through an open and public process can the public have confidence in the justice system and be satisfied parties are treated fairly. This means court hearings and court records are generally open to the public.
The information government bodies can collect and who they can share that information with are governed by provincial (B.C.) and federal (Canadian) laws. The provincial law is the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The federal laws are the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA)
The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to all public bodies in B.C. The act:
- Gives the public the right to access records that are in the control of public bodies in B.C.
- Governs what information public bodies can collect
- Sets out the circumstances in which information can be disclosed
- Gives you the right to access your own personal information to request a correction
All of these are subject to a number of exceptions set out in the exceptions section (Part 2, Division 2) of the act.
To make a request to access your personal information, including obtaining a record or requesting a correction under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, see these Freedom of Information (FOI) instructions.
For personal information held by the federal government under the federal Access to Information Act and Privacy Act, visit the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.