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IPC Statistical Report 2021

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Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner has released its annual Statistical Report for 2021.

Below is a summary of the high-level take-aways:

Access Requests:

  • There were 137,481 requests for access to personal health information in 2021, a 2.5%
    decrease from 2020 when 140,950 requests were received.
  • Health institutions completed 137,234 requests for access to personal health information in
    2021, representing a 30-day compliance rate of 92%. This represents a decrease of 5% from 2020.
  • Health institutions provided full access to personal health information for 96% of requests in 2021

Privacy Breaches:

  • There were 11,263 breaches of personal health information in 2021
  • Unauthorized disclosure continues to be a leading cause of health privacy breaches
  • Misdirected faxes still account for the majority of unauthorized disclosure breaches in the health sector, amounting to 4,848 breaches in 2021

IPC Adjudication of Health Privacy Matters:

  • The IPC opened more than 980 health privacy files in 2021, of which 535 related to privacy breaches:
    • 177 related to misdirected or lost personal information
    • 170 related to unauthorized collection, use or disclosure
    • 112 related to snooping
  • Cyberattacks were the cause of 32 breaches reported to the IPC by the health sector, representing a 45 percent increase over the previous year.

The full report is available here.

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Kate Dewhirst Health Law

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