Saanich nixes spyware pending B.C. Privacy Commissioner investigation

District of Saanich disabled Spector 360 software on Jan. 20, says interim CAO Andy Laidlaw

  • Feb. 2, 2015 12:00 p.m.

Interim Chief Administrative Officer Andy Laidlaw asked staff to disable the use of a controversial employee monitoring software program on Jan. 20, while the District awaits a report on its use from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of B.C.

In a statement released Monday, Laidlaw said the use of the Spector 360 program, which had been installed on a computer used by Mayor Richard Atwell and several others, “has become a distraction for Mayor and Council from its primary role in providing governance and service to their taxpayers.”

Laidlaw said the District may reconsider the use of the program after April 2015, when privacy commissioner Elizabeth Denham is due to issue a report on its use by municipal and public bodies.

“Saanich is facing many strategic issues and needs to move forward in its business decisions. I am hopeful this will bring some closure to this issue for Saanich while recognizing this issue of security and privacy will continue to resonate and be subject of public debate,” Laidlaw said.