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SiteWatch: University of Manitoba Observation Study Compromised Due to Handling of Participant Personal Data

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A recent University of Manitoba, Canada was recently audited. It was revealed that 420 participants’ information was handled improperly. The data was kept off campus and violated the Personal Health Information Act. According to CTV News Winnipeg, the study was focused on the impact of lifestyle and genetics on chronic disease. Apparently, personal and health privacy data was exposed. After the audit, the university did report the incident to the acting ombudsman, Marc Cormier. A university official, John Danakas, reported that they didn’t believe any information was exposed or accessed. The data that resulted from this study will consequently not be usable. Regardless of innocent mistake, a considerable investment in time, money and energy has been made for this observational study. Because of policy and procedure mistakes the output form this important research is now not usable.

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