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Responsible Destruction Ruling in Canada

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The first-ever "Executive Order" ruling by Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner under the authority of Canada’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) was released yesterday. The ruling stems from the incident in Toronto a few weeks ago in which medical records were used to replicate the scene of the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center for a movie. And while the ruling is pointed at a limited number of specific companies involved in the incident, it is fully expected that all healthcare organizations throughout Ontario will incorporate these standards. It now represents the de facto precedent by which such disposal will be judged in the future.

In crafting the order, Dr Ann Cavoukian, Ontario’s Information Protection and Privacy Commissioner, and her staff often turned to NAID-Canada for background information and to answer questions regarding the impact for various aspects of the ruling.

Among the highlights of the ruling is a required contract between the service provider and the client and specific language stating that recycling shall not be considered as appropriate destruction.

The first 16 pages of the order recount the events leading to the ruling, followed by the conclusions that support the case for secure destruction and which spell out the requisite components of a secure destruction program.

Read the order at:

http://www.ipc.on.ca/docs/ho-001.pdf