Brendan Seaton

Getting Into Your Genes: Protecting Health Information

March 14, 2001

Of all the information that exists about us, health information is the most private. This is because health information describes the very core of our being. It speaks to our physical and mental states, and says much about our life circumstances and lifestyle choices. In the future our genetic code will be available. Whether it will be available for all to see, or available to those to whom we choose to disclose it remains to be seen. It will be up to lawmakers and technologists to protect our interests.

This presentation will look at the special quality of health information, at the ethics of the use and disclosure of health information, and the methods we can employ to protect it. Issues concerning the private versus the public good will be presented, and hopefully debated in a lively and entertaining exchange.

Brendan Seaton is the President of PRIVA-C Solutions, a company specializing in information privacy and President of COACH, Canada's Health Informatics Association. He is also Chief Privacy and Security Officer for Ontario Smart Systems for Health, an initiative to establish a secure health information infrastructure to link health care providers in Ontario. Brendan has held senior management positions in Veterans Affairs Canada and Ontario Blue Cross. He is one of Canada's leading experts in the security and privacy of health information.