ICBC info 'reasonable'

An audit by British Columbia's privacy commissioner has found the information-sharing practices of B.C.'s public auto insurer are, for the most part, "reasonable and proportionate."

Acting commissioner Drew McArthur says in a report that he is pleased with the findings, but the Insurance Corporation of B.C. still has room to improve and he has made 12 recommendations, including better tracking and review of third-party access to information.

The province's Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner announced in February its intention to look into ICBC's information-sharing agreements in order to ensure the public body was properly protecting the private information of B.C. drivers.

ICBC has come under fire in recent months as successive reports forecast the need for drastic rate hikes to save the floundering corporation from economic collapse.

B.C.'s first NDP government created ICBC in the 1970s to offer affordable, universal and basic auto coverage to the province's drivers, but critics say political interference in the intervening years has pushed the Crown corporation into financial distress.

Since taking office earlier this year, the New Democrats announced a rate increase for basic insurance by 6.4 per cent, pledged to audit ICBC's operations and look for ways to reduce collisions, including broadening the use of red light cameras and cracking down on distracted driving.

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