The Tracks Enhanced Surveillance System (August 2016)

Description of (Program/Initiative)

The Tracks Enhanced Surveillance System is a behavioural and biological surveillance system that monitors HIV, hepatitis C and other sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBI) and associated risk behaviours among at-risk populations in Canada. The Tracks focus on certain populations in Canada that are disproportionately affected by HIV and other STBBI, including gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs, people from countries where HIV is endemic, Indigenous peoples, and at-risk youth.

The Tracks system is led by the Public Health Agency of Canada in partnership with provincial and/or local health authorities, local community organizations, and community-involved (university-based) researchers, who are contracted to conduct the surveys in local sentinel sites through Memoranda of Agreement and contracts.

Why was a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) completed?

The Tracks surveillance program, as one component of the national HIV/AIDS surveillance system, conducted a PIA due to the sensitivity of the personal information.

More Information

This PIA focused on the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) collection, use, disclosure, retention and disposition of personal information involved in the Program’s business processes. It did not include an examination of privacy practices of the local site teams who are regulated by local, provincial or territorial privacy legislation.

The PIA recommended mitigation actions in the following risk areas: ensuring information sheets and consent forms identify the purpose of collecting personal information, updating and formalizing key privacy practices within the current business processes; ensuring all staff involved with the Tracks receive privacy training and modifying two Personal Information Bank’s (PIB) to a Class of Record.

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