SFSS board meeting live-streamed without board consent

Legal opinion suggests this could expose the society to complaints under BC law

Courtesy of Facebook

By Paul Choptuik, Coordinating News Editor

During the SFSS board meeting on May 16, a member of the audience live-streamed portions of the meeting without the knowledge of certain guests and board members.

A guest brought the streaming to the board’s attention while the board discussed offering skills development training to make directors more comfortable with potentially live-streaming future meetings.

Earlier, Giovanni HoSang, SFSS president, stated that live-streaming would still have to be approved by board, but claimed that some people already do live-stream board meetings. HoSang did not specify which boards or societies he was referencing.

At large-representative Rayhaan Khan had also told the board, “I wasn’t entirely aware that was a practice. Is it possible that that sort of couldn’t be, or are students always permitted to just videotape us as we speak here?” Khan voiced his approval of potential skills training, but was reluctant to potentially introduce live-streaming immediately.

Various board members and guests disagreed or were confused over whether undergraduate students were currently allowed to record meetings. This prompted Sylvia Ceacero, SFSS executive director, to eventually interject, suggesting that she take the issue away and come back with a legal opinion. After this, the guest spoke up about the day’s previous live stream.

The Peak later reached out to Ceacero, who provided a statement from the SFSS’ lawyer, which noted that if personal information was shared through live-streaming, it could breach the province’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

“Accordingly, we agree that SFSS should maintain policies prohibiting such filming/streaming without consent and should take reasonable steps to enforce those policies,” the statement read.

Regarding the student who live-streamed, the statement noted “the student’s actions have potentially exposed the SFSS to claims or complaints under PIPA, although SFSS could likely defend any such claims by showing that had already occurred and that it was contrary to established policies.”

It further added, “you may also wish to alert [any] student (filming/live streaming) to the fact that inappropriately streaming this information could expose him or her to other liabilities (and if the streaming was being done on behalf of another organization, could expose that other organization to complaints or claims).”