Watchdog probes reports of private health info being shared with U.S. border services

TORONTO – Ontario’s privacy watchdog says reports that private health information is being shared with U.S. border services are of “grave concern” and she will investigate.

Information and Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian says she’ll look into the matter to ensure that personal health information isn’t compromised.

In a letter to the New Democrats, Cavoukian says she’s already contacted the Health ministry to confirm that no personal health details are being provided to U.S. border services.

NDP health critic France Gelinas asked Cavoukian to investigate earlier this week.

Gelinas says she’s been contacted by three people who have been denied entry to the United States based on their personal health history.

She says such information shouldn’t be shared with anyone outside their health-care providers and doing so undermines the integrity of all health services in Ontario.

She adds Health Minister Deb Matthews owes Ontarians an explanation.

“A person’s medical history is something that must remain absolutely confidential,” said Gelinas.

“To hear that specific details of Ontarians’ personal medical histories are being shared with a foreign government is extremely alarming. Minister Matthews owes Ontarians an explanation on how and why this happened, and a commitment to resolve it.”

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