International privacy and data protection experts join Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian for key health privacy conference in Toronto Monday

    TORONTO, Sept. 20 /CNW/ - A number of Privacy and Data Protection
Commissioners from around the world, and other prominent privacy experts, will
be participating in a special one-day health privacy conference on Monday,
organized by Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann
    The conference, The Privacy Prognosis in an Era of New Health Information
Technology, is devoted to privacy issues in the context of emerging health
information policy. It is being held at the MaRS Centre, 101 College Street
(southeast corner of College and University), from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Commissioner Cavoukian, who has designated Monday as Health Information
Privacy Day, will deliver the opening keynote address.
    "This is a crucial topic that not only needs to be addressed in Canada,
but throughout the developed world," said Commissioner Cavoukian. "The health
sector will soon be undergoing a rapid transformation with the implementation
of new information technology. During this conference, we will be looking at
cutting-edge health information technologies and the potential impact on
patient privacy."
    Among the discussion themes to be addressed are:

    Privacy-Enhancing Health Information Technologies: New privacy-enhancing
technologies are being developed that could minimize the amount of
identifiable health information that is collected, used and disclosed. What
are these new technologies and how can they be put to use in the health

    Electronic Health Records: Cradle to grave EHRs have the potential to
revolutionize the ways in which health care is delivered. What are the privacy
issues related to EHRs and what safeguards can be built into their design and

    Genetic Testing: Advances in genetic testing are expanding the potential
to predicting illnesses and individual characteristics. Blood relatives,
spouses, insurers, employers and governments all have an interest in your
genetic information. What are the privacy implications of genetic testing and
what safeguards are needed to ensure genetic privacy?

    RFID Tags in the Health Sector: Radio frequency identity tags have a
broad range of potential applications in the health sector, from tracking
wandering patients to preventing the counterfeiting of prescription drugs.
What are these applications and what are their associated benefits and

    The 20 speakers and panelists come from Canada, the United States and
various parts of Europe. The full program is available at:

    The Information and Privacy Commissioner is appointed by and reports to
the Ontario Legislative Assembly, and is independent of the government of the
day. The Commissioner's mandate includes overseeing the access and privacy
provisions of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, the
Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, and the
Personal Health Information Protection Act, and helping to educate the public
about access and privacy issues.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Bob Spence, Communications
Co-ordinator, Direct line: (416) 326-3939, Cell phone: (416) 873-9746, Toll
free: 1-800-387-0073,,

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