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.
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Today's Gainesville Sun asks the question: Is HIPAA, the patients' privacy law, getting in the way of police work. The answer is "probably". (I can hear in my head some people saying "the Constitution gets in the way of police work; that's what it's supposed to do.") One of the big problems is that hospitals interpret the law in very different ways, leaving police scratching their heads. We have the same problem with PIPEDA, particularly when the consent exceptions are oddly worded and lend themselves to broadly divergent interpretations.
While this will not give the police the carte blanche access they want, hospital associations should make an effort to come up with a consistent interpretation of HIPAA so that the ground rules are understood by all. I have seen some hospital counsel who may have a great facility with general health and employment law issues, but don't grasp the nuances of how privacy laws affect their operations. Without this, patients get different protections at different hosptials and, I expect, the police are sometimes left scratching their heads when an inquiry is accepted at one facility but not at another.
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