Wednesday, February 23, 2005

CIPPIC weighs in on "substantial similarity" for the Ontario Personal Health Information Protection Act

A short time ago, Industry Canada gazetted its notice of the proposed order-in-council to deem the Personal Health Information Protection Act to be substantially similar to PIPEDA. (See PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law: Industry Canada proposes PIPEDA exemption for Ontario "health information custodians".) If passed by cabinet, this would exclude "health information custodians" in Ontario from the application of PIPEDA. The notice in the Gazette requested comments on the proposed order.

The Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic has provided its comments, limiting its review to the weak research exemption of PHIPA. The impguned provision doesn't jibe with PIPEDA in that it only requires a research ethics review board to "consider" certain factors before allowing a researcher to have access to personal health information. See the letter to Industry Canada here.

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