files complaint against Vision Vancouver with Privacy Commissioner

Post by Mike Klassen in

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Vision betrays the spirit of BC's Privacy Act with their membership form:
Vision betrays the spirit of BC's Privacy Act with their membership form, says

Just a quick note to our readers to update them on a story we first posted in early April. We learned through our sources that Vision Vancouver was exploiting an opt out clause on their membership form that could be interpreted as an excuse to share Vision members' private information with third parties. The third party in question is the BC NDP party, who were using Vision Vancouver membership lists to harass people to vote for them during the recent provincial election campaign.

People who had specified that they didn't want to be contacted by other "progressive groups" were being contacted, and others who didn't suspect that their info would be exploited were getting demon dial messages from Councillor Kerry Jang insisting they vote for NDP candidate Jenn McGinn.

The reason for this is simple. Vision Vancouver designed their membership form for maximum deceit by placing an "opt out" checkbox (as in, check this or otherwise we'll give your info away) in tiny font at the bottom margin of the form. In our opinion, and based upon our initial discussions with the Privacy Commissioner's office, the form betrays the spirit of BC's Privacy Act, and as such should be amended with an "opt in" clause, placed "above the fold" and in a clear readable font.

Per the requirements of the OIPCBC, contacted Vision Vancouver by email on April 9th requesting the change to their membership form. In the complaint to Vision Vancouver we stated that we

...would also like your assurance in writing that Vision Vancouver members are not having their private personal information shared with third parties without their permission. We have been told by Vision members who opted out of any information sharing that they have been getting contacted by the BC NDP.

After 30 business days lapsed we submitted our official complaint to the Privacy Commissioner today by fax. Of course, when we hear back from Commissioner Loukidelis one way or another we'll let our readers know here at

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