Canada Dashboard Digest

Dickson: Breaches Need Stiffer Penalties

DATA LOSS

February 11, 2011

Saskatchewan Privacy Commissioner Gary Dickson told The Mercury that stiffer penalties are needed for people and organizations responsible for breaches such as the recent one at Sun Country Health Region, where an employee inappropriately accessed patient prescription data. Dickson said that while the health region hasn't disclosed the employee's punishment in this case, he fears weak penalties are sending a bad message, and the Ministry of Justice is not backing stronger actions when health regions seek them. "If the penalties are light for breaches of confidentiality, then curiosity often overcomes training," Dickson worries. With many employees having access to electronic health records, the message and the punishments need to be stronger, he says.
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