The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.

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The author of this blog, David T.S. Fraser, is a Canadian privacy lawyer who practices with the firm of McInnes Cooper. He is the author of the Physicians' Privacy Manual. He has a national and international practice advising corporations and individuals on matters related to Canadian privacy laws.

For full contact information and a brief bio, please see David's profile.

Please note that I am only able to provide legal advice to clients. I am not able to provide free legal advice. Any unsolicited information sent to David Fraser cannot be considered to be solicitor-client privileged.

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The views expressed herein are solely the author's and should not be attributed to his employer or clients. Any postings on legal issues are provided as a public service, and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. The author makes no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained herein or linked to. Nothing herein should be used as a substitute for the advice of competent counsel.

This web site is presented for informational purposes only. These materials do not constitute legal advice and do not create a solicitor-client relationship between you and David T.S. Fraser. If you are seeking specific advice related to Canadian privacy law or PIPEDA, contact the author, David T.S. Fraser.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Opinion: Too much privacy? 

Kerry Diotte, a columnist for the Edmonton Sun, has a piece about proposed amendments to the Alberta Health Information Act that were voted down by a legislature committee that was reviewing the Act. The proposal would have allowed hospitals to disclose health information without consent to police in certain circumstances:

Edmonton Sun Columnist: Kerry Diotte - Too much privacy?:


In a submission to the committee studying changes to the act, then-acting deputy chief Mike Bradshaw summed up the cops' concerns.

'The [Edmonton Police Service]'s primary concern is that the (current act) prevents health-care providers from contacting or disclosing to police services information where it is reasonably suspected that a person attending the hospital has been involved in some form of criminal activity,' wrote Bradshaw.

That point hits home with Lukaszuk who welcomes the more common-sense approach of the new legislation.

'In my opinion, shifting the balance from complete protection of health information to a slight relaxation of such protection -and enhancing police ability to apprehend criminals - was a reasonable undertaking,' said Lukaszuk.

'After all, any law-abiding Albertan would not object to a police officer wanting to know whether he is in hospital or whether he has a bullet wound. It's likely only the criminal element that would object.' "

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