May 24 2011 - Differing perspectives over remedies for intentional privacy breaches in the health sector: closing arguments
On March 31, 2011, PrivacyScan published an article by Christopher Berzins in which he questioned some of the public comments by Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian, and Gary Dickson, the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Saskatchewan, regarding disciplinary action in the wake of privacy breaches in the health care sector. In short, Mr. Berzins argued, among other things, that the commissioners demonstrated a lack of appreciation for the employment law environment and the manner in which workplace issues are resolved in the health care sector. Commissioner Cavoukian responded in an April 26, 2011 article, explaining why information about disciplinary action imposed on an employee who committed a breach should be shared with the individual whose personal information was improperly accessed.
This issue contains the final point-counterpoint for each side of the debate. While the back and forth between the Commissioner and Mr. Berzins reveals - not surprisingly - a significant degree of common ground, the two parties have ultimately agreed to disagree on the appropriateness of providing affected individuals with details of disciplinary action taken against employees who commit privacy breaches in the health care sector.