New BC health law could lead to privacy abuse

Pamela Fayerman of the Vancouver Sun reports:

Legislation paving the way for the collection and sharing of electronic health records opens the door for massive privacy security breaches, say groups opposed to the Bill which will soon get second reading.

The way Bill 24 is drafted, B.C. residents could find their private health records circulating on the internet after the system is hacked into, details stolen, sold or otherwise compromised, according to the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA), the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Coalition of People with Disabilities and the B.C. Persons With AIDS Society (BCPWA). Representatives of the four organizations held a press conference Wednesday to decry the legislation because they contend it does not contain any provisions for people to either consent to when or by whom their health information is accessed nor does it allow individuals to opt out of the whole process it if they want to ensure their records remain strictly confidential.

“We’re talking drug histories, genetic information, medical test results, you name it. And once your personal information gets out or on the internet, it’s there forever, beyond anyone’s control,” cautioned Darrell Evans of FIPA.

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