Privacy Bill Introduced in Ontario Legislature

In June 2015 we blogged here about privacy amendments that would be coming soon. On September 16, 2015, the much-anticipated Bill 119 was introduced to amend Ontario’s privacy legislation. Some of the proposed changes include increasing fines for persons who commit offences under the privacy law, and increasing the amount of time offences can be prosecuted (so that people who break the law do not get off the hook because of a timing technicality). As well, hospitals would have to report health professionals to their regulating bodies if they are fired, suspended or disciplined as a result of an unauthorized collection, use, disclosure, retention or disposal of personal health information. This might result in health professionals taking their privacy obligations more seriously as they cannot practice their professions without the licences granted by their regulators.

The Bill must go through several more stages before becoming law. We will be monitoring its progress and will provide a detailed overview if it passes and actually does amend the Personal Health Information Protection Act.

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