Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) and Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessments (PPIAs) 2007-2008

Maternal - Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch)

The Maternal - Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals Study (MIRECS) is concerned with measuring the extent to which pregnant women and their infants are exposed to chemicals. The study also plans on assessing if certain chemicals, or levels of chemicals, cause particular health risks. During the completion of the MIRECS Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) it was found that Health Canada did not have custody or control of the collected personal information and is therefore not accountable or responsible for the collected personal information. A PIA was not needed. Even though a PIA was not required, the assessment was a useful tool to acknowledge potential privacy risks and demonstrate due diligence in relation to privacy issues.

Electronic Client Immunization Record System (ECIRS) (First Nations and Inuit Health Program)

ECIRS is a project designed to assist First Nations in the implementation of and participation in the Province of Saskatchewan's electronic system for the management of personal immunization information. First Nations Inuit Health Program - Saskatchewan Regional Office completed a draft Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment on Electronic Client Immunization Record System (ECIRS).

Status Verification System (First Nations and Inuit Health Branch)

Health Canada's Non-Insured Health Benefit (NIHB) Program is in the final stages of completing a Privacy Impact Assessment on the Status Verification System (SVS). The SVS is a client management system used to verify client eligibility for NIHB Program benefits.

Marihuana Medical Access Division (Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch)

The Office of Controlled Substances (OCS) has responsibility for administering the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and associated regulations such as the Marihuana Medical Access Regulations (MMAR). In 2006, the OCS undertook a project that once completed, would see the implementation of an electronic mechanism (commonly known as Secure Access to Medical Marihuana - SAMM) by which the office could file and process information collected on applicants under the authority of the MMAR by the Marihuana Medical Access Division (MMAD). In 2004, as part of the development requirements of SAMM, the OCS completed an assessment on the program. Now, with the implementation of SAMM Phase I, the OCS is looking to update and formalise the PIA.

Tobacco Website Youth Corner (Healthy Environments and Consumer Safety Branch)

Health Canada plans to update the Youth Corner of their tobacco website, www.gosmokefree.ca , to make it more engaging and attract more youth. In doing so, they plan to add a section to submit videos to the National Tobacco Youth Video Contest that is being held by the Tobacco Control Program. To identify and mitigate privacy risks, the program is currently completing a Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment.

Drug Information System (First Nation and Inuit Health Branch)

Following a successful pilot project, First Nations and Inuit Health Branch nursing stations will be equipped with a stand alone Drug Information System to improve pharmaceutical care. The system will support the prescriber by providing a clinical decision support tool and resources such as training and up-to-date information on medications. A Preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment was initiated because the system has the capacity to develop clients' prescription profiles, an electronic feature that was not used during the pilot project. All privacy risks have been identified and mitigated. The system will be used as a stand-alone system and will only store health information temporarily.

Automated Survey Application (Public Affairs, Consultation and Regions Branch)

In 2007, Health Canada began to develop an Automated Survey Application (ASA). The ASA will be used by HC Branches/Directorates to conduct consultations, public opinion research (POR) and epidemiological surveys. The tool facilitates the generation of a number of survey questions including multiple choice and free-text questions. For the most part, the information collected will be limited to indirect identifiers, which may be tied to an individual's views/opinions regarding a policy or subject area. In addition, direct identifiers (e.g. name, telephone number) may also be collected for certain consultation-based surveys. ASA management have taken precautions to limit the collection of personal information (both direct and indirect identifiers) through the development of a quality review procedure that requires an independent and knowledgeable reviewer to review surveys prior to their release to the public. A preliminary Privacy Impact Assessment was initiated as the ASA may involve the collection and management of personal information.

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