Tag Archives: Ann Cavoukian

Privacy breaches can cost $214 per record — Cavoukian

The audience laughed when Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian said she got called on a weekend over a major privacy breach. “I don’t know how they got my home number,” she said teasing.

Cavoukian rushed downtown to Toronto’s Wellington Street to find thousands of patient health records strewn around as part of a set for a mini-series on 9/11. The production company had asked a recycling company to provide some paper for the scene. That they did.

Upon investigation, Cavoukian found that the health care provider had made an error, sending the documents to recycling instead of shredding.

After her story she said it was the CBC who tipped her off and that she had voluntarily given her number to the reporter. No breach after all.

The story was one of many as Cavoukian spoke October 25 at the Longwood’s Breakfast with the Chiefs forum at the University of Toronto.

Cavoukian says that you can avoid privacy by disaster by following privacy by design – by building systems intentionally with security in mind.

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New report makes privacy recommendations around secondary use of health records

It’s possible your health records are being used at this moment without your consent.

Health records are a valuable source of information for health research, population health monitoring, quality improvement and as evidence to inform management of our health system.

Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner notes, in a new report released March 2nd, that such information is often used and disclosed to researchers in a form in which patients are identifiable. This is because the original health provider lacks the resources or capacity to “de-identify” the records before making it available, especially when the documents are paper-based. Even when data from electronic health records (EHRs) are de-identified, some researchers have found it is sometimes possible to re-identify individuals from the anonymous data.

Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (2004) permits certain secondary uses of information contained in these records without consent from the individual.

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