Why A Health Number is Not an Ontario Identification Number

Date: March 30th 2011 from 12pm to 1pm EST

An individual’s health number is personal health information (PHI) as defined in Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA). However, in addition to the general rules related to the appropriate management of PHI, PHIPA contains additional limitations and restrictions on how health numbers and the health cards on which they are recorded may be collected, used and disclosed. These special rules apply not only to health information custodians, but also to researchers and other recipients. PHIPA creates specific offences for the contravention of the provisions related to health numbers and health cards.

This webinar will examine the PHIPA regime applicable to health numbers and health cards. It will review the rules related to their collection, use and disclosure as uniquely applied to health information custodians and persons who are not custodians. It will focus on the circumstances in health numbers may be collected, used and disclosed by researchers, with and without the consent of an individual. The regulations which appear to provide the research community with some latitude in their collection and disclosure of the numbers will be analyzed in detail to illustrate that they have limited application.

Webinar attendees will learn that an individual’s health number is not to be treated as a ubiquitous “unique identifier” but one whose collection, use and disclosure must be carefully managed within the requirement of PHIPA.

Speaker: Anita Fineberg, LL.B., CIPP/C

Anita Fineberg, LL.B., CIPP/C is a sole practitioner and consultant specializing in the areas of privacy, access to information, data security and information management issues. She focuses on health information privacy and the use of health information in the development of electronic medical and health records.

Anita advises private and public sector clients on compliance with PIPEDA, PHIPA, other Canadian provincial privacy legislation, health information privacy requirements, global data protection laws, as well as on the management of the access to information process under FIPPA and comparable legislation in other provinces. She has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating agreements for the health sector as well as contracts related to data uses, security and confidentiality. She also assists clients in the development of privacy compliance programs, including policies, procedures and training. Anita provides emerging companies with advice on online privacy policies, Terms of Use and the rules governing the use of user-generated content on websites.

Anita is a member of the access and privacy and advocacy sections of the Canadian Bar Association and the privacy, health, IT and administrative law sections of the Ontario Bar Association. She is also a member of the Canadian Association of Management Consultants.

She holds an LL.B degree from the University of Toronto and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional/Canada. Anita is a frequent speaker, workshop leader and author on privacy and information security.
Download the slides here.