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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Leaks of personal health information can have side effects on your health 

In the wake of a recent incident in San Jose involving the leak of personal information from a medical clinic, the San Jose Mercury News is running a story about how privacy fears affect patients: | 04/12/2005 | Medical data thefts spur worry:

"The recent theft of two computers from the San Jose Medical Group could have repercussions beyond the 185,000 people whose billing records were on those machines.

Privacy advocates worry that this case, and a rash of others involving the loss of personal data, will make people afraid to get the medical care they need.

``It has a devastating impact on the way people seek health care,'' said Emily Stewart, a policy analyst for the non-profit Health Privacy Project in Washington, D.C.

In a 1999 survey, she said, one out of six people said they were so worried that their medical or financial details would leak out that they withheld information from their doctors, skipped from doctor to doctor to avoid having all their records in one place or paid cash to avoid dealing with insurance companies.

Emma Burgess, 34, a former patient of San Jose Medical Group, said the break-in ``really irks me in a big way'' -- especially since she left the group four or five years ago...."

If anyone has a copy of that survey, please e-mail me at david.fraser (at)

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