Dear Colleagues,

I have included a link (see below) to an interview with Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's Privacy Commissioner who appeared on Metro Morning this morning to announce a new program about raising the awareness about Think Before You Copy - a program aimed at all health care professionals.

I could hear the frustration in her voice and share the frustration for a variety of reasons including the fact that the latest notification program was required because a UHN employee's purse was stolen and within that purse was a USB key which contained identifying data which had not been encrypted. No one believes that individuals who are the victims of theft have intentionally breached patient privacy, but the simple step of encrypting information would have protected all of these patients.

To underline what the Privacy Commissioner had to say:

Think before you take any data out of the hospital. Do you need to do this or can you work remotely so that the data stays behind our firewall? 

If you must take data out of the hospital, is it encrypted and is it password protected? If not - do not take the data out of the hospital until you've completed those two steps. 

Hold all data on the server whenever possible. This ensures that it is protected and behind UHN's firewall. 

We are a large organization and there has been lots of education and support so that people are aware of the issue and know what steps to take. We will do more and we may need to take steps with our equipment which will eliminate the possibility of removing data from our site. It is all of our responsibility to ensure that we live up to our obligations when it comes to privacy.

Bob ​ xxx​​​​

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