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    Vancouver Sun: Privacy czar to probe use of police database

    The Vancouver Sun reports on an investigation by the British Columbia Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham into a police database:

    Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham announced Friday that her office will examine the issue of employers using the PRIMEBC police database to perform background checks on job applicants.

    Denham’s office said it has been looking into employment-related criminal-record checks for several months and now will investigate concerns voiced by the BC Civil Liberties Association about the Police Records Information Management Environment database, used to record interactions with police including those with people who report crimes.

    The BCCLA said earlier this week it was disturbing that the names of as many as 85 per cent of adult residents in B.C. are included in the database. […]

    The BCCLA expressed concerns over the use of the database for preemployment checks that go beyond looking for criminal convictions, saying it unfairly results in lost job opportunities.

    A prospective employee has to give consent for a potential employer to ask police to do a criminal-record check and check PRIME for negative contact with police. […]

    The commissioner’s office will consult with the solicitor-general, civil-rights groups, the law-enforcement community and other information and privacy commissioners in Canada.

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