EDMONTON — Alberta's privacy commissioner has ruled that a network of health clinics violated the Health Information Act by failing to safeguard the personal health data of over 620,000 Albertans that was contained on a laptop stolen last September.
The laptop was stolen from an information technology consultant working for Medicentres on Sept. 26, 2013.
It contains the names, birth dates, provincial health card numbers, billing codes, and diagnostic codes of 620,000 Albertans seen at private walk-in clinics between May 2, 2011, and Sept. 19, 2013.
An investigation was launched on Jan. 23, 2014.
In an investigative report released Friday, senior information and privacy manager Elaine Fitzgibbon found that Medicentres contravened the act by failing to consider privacy risks and encrypt the information on the laptop.
"While it is permissible to authorize others to carry out duties regarding health information management and protection, custodians cannot divest themselves of responsibility,” she wrote.