Securities Market Participants
Collection of Personal Information
Most of the personal information we collect comes directly from you.
We regulate securities trading in B.C. People and companies in B.C.'s capital markets give us information to meet their legal requirements.
We collect personal information during the course of a compliance review or an investigation to gather evidence and confirm facts (including your name and associations, investment account statements, phone records, and criminal records). The Securities Act allows us to order you to provide information and records if you are involved in securities trading.
Our investigators may obtain an order under the Securities Act that permits them to collect a variety of personal information. This may include information about your trading, investments, finances, loans, and relationships. You must comply with these requests for information and there are penalties for failing to cooperate with an investigation. Legal counsel may represent you to protect your interests.
Use of Personal Information
We collect your personal information for purposes authorized by or under the Securities Act and other legislation, for law enforcement, and to operate and administer our programs and services.
Release of Personal Information
We will not disclose your information to other organizations without your knowledge and written consent, except in limited cases where we have the legal authority or obligation to do so.
Most information filed under the authority of our act and regulations is available for public viewing. Opening our records to public scrutiny is one way we ensure that we are accountable to the citizens of B.C.. We publish most public documents on our websites or through national systems like www.sedar.com and www.sedi.ca. The Securities Act allows you to request that we keep a public record confidential. Policy 13-602 outlines how we handle confidentiality requests.
We consider certain categories of documents to be confidential because they disclose intimate personal details. We do not publish these records, such as registration applications and personal information forms. We must make hearing exhibits publicly available, but we do not publish them on our website. Keeping your personal information safe from serious misuse, such as identity theft, generally overrides the principle of public disclosure.
We may share your information with other law enforcement agencies, government agencies, and financial regulators, without your knowledge or consent. These agencies are generally subject to similar requirements to safeguard your information.
If we collect your personal information in an investigation:
- We will normally keep it confidential, although we have the discretion to release it if it is in the public interest to do so. Generally, we will not release it to a third party through a freedom of information request without your consent, although the Information and Privacy Commissioner may look at this information when conducting a review, inquiry, or audit.
- We will disclose it to the respondent in a hearing if it is potentially relevant to the case. This allows them to prepare their case.
- We will release it to the B.C. Ombudsman with your consent or with the consent of the law enforcement agency that provided the information to us.
- It becomes public if disclosed in a public hearing. We do not publish hearing exhibits, transcripts, and submissions to protect your personal information from serious misuse. These documents are available for public inspection at our offices.
We may share your information with our suppliers and contractors. Our service providers are contractually required to keep your information confidential.
We will release information to comply with a court order.
We may release your information, including disclosing information to collect debts and fines owed to the BCSC.
People may request your personal information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. We will not release your personal information without your written consent if doing so would represent an unreasonable invasion of your personal privacy or be harmful to your business interests.
If we regulate your activities, you may not opt-out of providing us with your personal information when required by the Securities Act. In many cases, there are penalties for failing to provide required information.