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Issue No.02 - March/April (2009 vol.7)
pp: 75-78
Khaled El Emam , Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Patricia Kosseim , Genome Canada
ABSTRACT
Prescription data disclosed by pharmacies without patient consent, could constitute a breach of privacy if individual patients can be re-identified by third parties. This article analyzes the concept of identifiability under Canadian and US privacy laws, including applicable thresholds of risk and the perspective from which the risk must be examined. The article goes on to examine concrete examples of how the risk of re-identifiability of prescription data can materialize in practice.
INDEX TERMS
privacy law, healthcare, re-identifiability, privacy interests
CITATION
Khaled El Emam, Patricia Kosseim, "Privacy Interests in Prescription Data, Part 2: Patient Privacy", IEEE Security & Privacy, vol.7, no. 2, pp. 75-78, March/April 2009, doi:10.1109/MSP.2009.47
REFERENCES
1. P. Kosseim, A. Kardash, and A. Penta eds., Compendium of Canadian Legislation Respecting the Protection of Personal Information in Health Research,, 2nd ed., Public Works and Government Services Canada, 2005; www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/documentsethics_privacy_compendium_june2005_e.pdf .
2. Gordon v. Canada (Health), Federal Trial Reports, vol. 324, 2008, p. 94; www.canlii.org/en/ca/fct/doc/2008/2008fc258 2008fc258.html.
3. "Report to the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services on Enhanced Protections for Uses of Health Data: A Stewardship Framework for 'Secondary Uses' of Electronically Collected and Transmitted Health Data," Nat'l Committee on Vital and Health Statistics, 2007; www.ncvhs.hhs.gov071221lt.pdf.
4. S. Clause et al., "Conforming to HIPAA Regulations and Compilation of Research Data," Am. J. Health-System Pharmacy, vol. 61, no. 10, 2004. pp. 1025–1031.
5. "Statisticians and De-Identifying Protected Health Information for HIPAA," Am. Public Health Assoc. newsletter, 2005; www.apha.org/membergroups/newsletters/sectionnewsletters/ statis/fall052121.htm.
6. Southern Illinoisan vs. The Illinois Department of Public Health, Supreme Court of the State of Illinois, docket no. 98712, 2006; www.state.il.us/court/Opinions/SupremeCourt/ 2006/February/Opinions/Html98712.htm .
7. K. El Emam, A. Brown, and P. Abdelmalik, "Evaluating Predictors of Geographic Area Population Size Cutoffs to Manage Re-identification Risk," J. Am. Medical Informatics Association, vol. 16, no. 2, 2009, pp. 256–266.
8. K. El Emam et al., "Evaluating Patient Re-Identification Risk from Hospital Prescription Records," to be published in Canadian J. Hospital Pharmacy, June 2009.
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