For over four years, the BC Liberals have been working to build a monster database of all of our personal information. Instead of it being limited to one Ministry, minimizing the exposure in the case of compromise, someone privately made the decision to put all of the data every ministry has, into one place.
Many years ago, the federal government tried to do the same thing, and as soon as the public was informed, the outrage resulted in the longitudinal labour force file database being dismantled.
The more personal information in one database, the bigger target it becomes. Can you imagine if every bit of information every Ministry in BC has on you was in one place? It would be the single biggest target in the province.
Civil society groups have been advocating for years that a public inquiry and consultation into the Integrated Case Management system occur, as all of the discussions have been behind closed doors.
As you know, once your privacy has been compromised, and that data is provided to a third party, it’s out there forever. I haven’t met a single individual who things building this monster database of every British Columbia thinks this is a good idea, even under the non-proven auspices of increased service delivery.
It’s important to note, that once such a database is connected to the internet, the question of whether or not it can be hacked or compromised is no longer a question — the question becomes when.
In July 2012, B.C’s Representative for Children and Youth said in her statement of what she described as a “problem-plagued” system, “I have reached the point where I am making this rare public statement as I strongly believe that ICM is not adequate to provide safety to vulnerable children, youth and families in B.C.”
In January of this year, she reported to the Victoria Times-Colonist the system is a “colossal failure“. This is around the same time that a consultant hired to review the system released another scathing report.
Instead of slowing down or pausing the rollout, phase 3 has just begun. This morning Michael Geist published an article on how “virtually every major [Canadian] government department has sustained breaches, with the majority occurring over the past five years (many did not retain records dating back to 2002). In numerous instances, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada was not advised of the breach.”
British Columbia is in the middle of an election, yet last night at the debates the most significant risk to the privacy of every BC citizen hasn’t been mentioned. What do the candidates in your riding have to say about the Integrated Case Management system?