The commercialization of patient data in Canada: ethics, privacy and policy

Spithoff, Sheryl, Stockdale, Jessica, Rowe, Robyn, McPhail, Brenda and Persaud, Nav (2022) The commercialization of patient data in Canada: ethics, privacy and policy. Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), 194 (3). E95-E97. ISSN 0820-3946

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (52kB)


In Canada, commercial data brokers collect deidentified patient data from pharmacies, private drug insurers, the federal government and medical clinics without patient consent.

Although pharmaceutical companies are the data brokers’ primary customers, academics and nonprofit and public entities also use commercial data sets, given the absence of a coordinated public approach to collecting these data across Canada.

Risks of commercialized patient data include loss of anonymity, surveillance and marketing, discrimination and violation of Indigenous data sovereignty.

Coordinated infrastructure for the collection and coordination of health data across Canada and updated privacy legislation would protect individuals and communities and enable appropriate data uses.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Canada, Confidentiality, Data Anonymization, Health Policy, Humans, Medical Records Systems, Computerized
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Philosophy
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 05 May 2022 07:45
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2022 10:33

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update