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Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner
September 3, 2009

Information and Privacy Commissioner to Host
National Meeting of Counterparts in St. John�s

The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner in Newfoundland and Labrador will host a meeting of the commissioners and other privacy and access to information oversight officials from across the country. The event is scheduled for September 8 to 10 and will be an opportunity to engage in high level discussions about issues relating to access to information and protection of privacy. Several expert presenters have been invited as well, so that delegates to the meeting can learn about cutting edge access and privacy issues. The theme for this meeting is Health Information Privacy, although there will be sessions on other privacy issues and on access to information issues. It is hoped that the meeting will produce one or two joint resolutions about important emerging privacy issues, details of which will be announced on September 10.

Commissioner Ed Ring noted that while these meetings have traditionally been held once or twice a year, this is the first time that such a meeting has been hosted by this province: "We are looking forward to this opportunity to share and discuss common issues and concerns with other Commissioners. Both access to information and protection of privacy are constantly evolving, so it is always a great learning opportunity when we get together."

Furthermore, Commissioner Ring noted that the timing for a meeting focused on health privacy couldn�t be better given that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, like most other jurisdictions in Canada, has recently passed legislation for the protection of personal health information (which is now awaiting proclamation). He also noted that each province and territory is in the process of developing electronic health record systems: "One of the clear messages from the Cameron Inquiry is that our health system needs a more accurate way to track test results in order to better assist patients and caregivers in making timely decisions. One way to do that is through electronic health records, however we also need to make sure privacy is built in along the way."

The commissioner looks forward to welcoming the delegates to Newfoundland and Labrador.

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Media contact:
Ed Ring
Information and Privacy Commissioner

2009 09 03                                                    9:00 a.m.

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