Canadian Province Plans to Double Fines for Data Breaches | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Canadian Province Plans to Double Fines for Data Breaches

June 15, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins is planning on doubling the fines for breaches of patients’ medical records, as well as making it easier to prosecute offenders, according to multiple Canadian news media reports.

Hoskins is proposing new legislation later this year that would up violations of patients' privacy to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for the hospital or organization. It would also scrap a rule requiring that prosecutions start within six months of the alleged privacy breach, which Hoskins called "a serious barrier" to prosecuting offenders, according to a report from CTV News.

According to reports, the incidents of healthcare workers inappropriately accessing patients' private records at hospitals in Peterborough, Sault Ste. Marie, Brantford, Toronto, Sarnia and elsewhere—in addition to workers at several hospitals accessing the health records of former Toronto mayor Rob Ford—got the attention of Hoskins. "It is often the high-profile cases and individuals by the nature of the breach that may get more attention," said Hoskins in the CTV News report. "I don't want to speak to the specifics that are being investigated and may be prosecuted."

The proposed bill would also make it mandatory to report privacy breaches to Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner and to the relevant regulatory colleges that govern health-care professionals. The privacy commissioner can't launch prosecutions, and can only refer the cases to the Attorney General, according to reports. The Ontario Court of Appeal ruled earlier this year that patients can sue hospitals if their privacy was breached.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More



Study will Leverage Connecticut HIE to Help Prevent Suicides

A new study will aim to leverage CTHealthLink, a physician-led health information exchange (HIE) in Connecticut, to help identify the factors leading to suicide and to ultimately help prevent those deaths.

Duke Health First to Achieve HIMSS Stage 7 Rating in Analytics

North Carolina-based Duke Health has become the first U.S. healthcare institution to be awarded the highest honor for analytic capabilities by HIMSS Analytics.

NIH Releases First Dataset from Adolescent Brain Development Study

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the release of the first dataset from the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study, which will enable scientists to conduct research on the many factors that influence brain, cognitive, social, and emotional development.

Boston Children's Accelerates Data-Driven Approach to Clinical Research

In an effort to bring a more data-driven approach to clinical research, Boston Children’s Hospital has joined the TriNetX global health research network.

Paper Records, Films Most Common Type of Healthcare Data Breach, Study Finds

Despite the high level of hospital adoption of electronic health records and federal incentives to do so, paper and films were the most frequent location of breached data in hospitals, according to a recent study.

AHA Appoints Senior Advisor for Cybersecurity and Risk

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has announced that John Riggi has joined the association as senior advisor for cybersecurity and risk.