Language selection


A National ID Card by Stealth?
The BC Services Card Privacy Risks, Opportunities and Alternatives

This page has been archived on the Web

Information identified as archived is provided for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It is not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards and has not been altered or updated since it was archived. Please contact us to request a format other than those available.


British Columbia Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA)



Project Leader(s)

Dr. Kate Milberry, Researcher, BC Civil Liberties Association

Christopher Parsons, PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science and Graduate Fellow at the Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria


This project produced a report that offers a comprehensive examination of national ID cards in the Canadian context. The project involved research on national ID card programs and identity management proposals in various jurisdictions, and efforts by the BCCLA to gather data on the BC Services Card through a series of freedom of information requests and interview requests. The report indicates that these requests for further information were largely denied, which led the researchers to conclude that there is a critical lack of transparency in the BC identity management proposal.

The report situates all the available data about the BC program squarely in the national context of Canadian federated ID management proposals, with discussion of the attendant technical, legal and policy challenges. The report's assessment is based on a careful  technical review of the specific solution advanced by SecureKey Technologies, the vendor for the BC program (and  the vendor hired by the federal government to provide a national credential brokering service), the privacy and security implications of the program, and  comparisons with other  proposals and technical designs.

In addition to the report, this project produced a formal literature review and delivered a public forum on the topic of the report. The half-day forum was held at Simon Fraser University, in Vancouver. The forum featured the report's authors, Kate Milberry and Christopher Parsons, as well as Christian Paquin, Microsoft Research; Bradley Weldon, Office of the Information and  Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia; Andrew Clement, University of Toronto, Identity, Privacy and Security Institute; Vincent Gogolek, British Columbia Freedom of Information and  Privacy  Association; and Micheal Vonn, BC Civil Liberties  Association.

This document is available in the following language(s):

English only

OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

British Columbia Civil Liberties Association
900 Helmcken Street 2nd floor
Vancouver, British Columbia
Canada V6Z 1B3

Tel: (604)687-2919
Fax: (604) 687-3045

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Error 1: No selection was made. You must choose at least 1 answer.
Please select all that apply (required):


Date modified: