FOR DATA PROVIDERS - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who is Population Data BC and what do you do?
Population Data BC is a multi-university, data and education resource facilitating interdisciplinary research on the determinants of human health, well-being and development.
We offer researchers access to one of the world’s largest collections of administrative data including health care, health services and population health data, and a comprehensive education and training service on how to best use those data.
These data are linkable to each other and to external data sets, where approved by the data provider. Linkage of data across sectors, such as health, education, early childhood development, workplace and the environment, facilitates advances in understanding the complex interplay of influences on human health, well-being and development. Such research informs health related policy-making and investment decisions for healthier communities.
Who funds Population Data BC?
Our primary funders are the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and the BC Ministry of Small Business, Technology and Economic Development Knowledge Development Fund.
Who is accountable for Population Data BC?
The Executive Director is guided by consensus from the Advisory Board which is responsible for guiding all strategic, policy-related, privacy- and security-related aspects of Population Data BC’s operations. The Advisory Board is comprised of partner/collaborator organisations including: The University of British Columbia (UBC) Centre for Health Services and Policy Research (CHSPR); UBC's Human Early Learning Partnership (HELP); and UBC's School of Population and Public Health. The legal body for all our data sharing agreements is UBC.
The Population Data BC Governance Oversight Committee oversees the Advisory Board.
How can a Data Provider monitor Population Data BC's use of the data to ensure it is being used as contractually agreed upon?
All usage of the data will be regulated by an data sharing agreements with the Data Provider outlining how the provider can monitor the use of the data on an individual basis. This will include regular reports and further details may be found in the Population Data BC's Audit Policy.
Who will have access to the data?
Researchers may access the data by submitting a detailed Data Access Request which is approved by the Data Provider. They then sign a Research Agreement with the Data Provider.
Named programmers have access to Identifiers to perform linkages on intake only. Content Data are stored on a separate server, and are accessed by named programmers to perform Research Extracts as defined through a Research Agreement. In no cases are Content Data and Identifiers brought back together. This separation of information safeguards the privacy of personal information.
Staff in Researcher Liaison work with the researcher to define study populations and therefore will have access to Content Data. Researcher Liaison staff have no access to Identifiers.
What is the risk of exposure?
Risk of exposure is significantly lower than that of most Data Providers as we separate Identifiers from Content Data and all our identifiable information resides, encrypted and off line.
How can a Data Provider monitor Population Data BC’s security?
A section on security requirements and compliance monitoring is a standard part of our Information Sharing Agreements, and includes logging, reports and auditing.
What is the benefit to a Data Provider of having Population Data BC hold data that is under its stewardship?
We can benefit a Data Provider who needs:
Does a Data Provider, at any time, relinquish stewardship of the data by storing it at Population Data BC?
No, as a Data Provider you maintain stewardship of the data and approve all data access requests from researchers on a case-by-case basis.Population Data BC has no authority whatsoever in terms of authorising access to the data.
What is the risk of someone gaining unauthorized access to data?
Population Data BC has a myriad of technical and physical controls in place to maintain the security of the data. Details of these security features are available upon request, but include building alarms, fortification and video surveillance as well as network moating, two-factor authentication and encryption. Population Data BC provides cradle to grave security meeting or exceeding Cobitt, ISO and BC Government Core Standards.
Who is the legal body responsible for Population Data BC?
Population Data BC is under the legal umbrella of the University of British Columbia (“UBC”), which is a public body under FIPPA. The Office of the University Counsel is charged with administering matters relating to UBC’s compliance with FIPPA. The head of the public body at UBC with respect to FIPPA is University Counsel, Hubert Lai. Population Data BC operates under the aegis of UBC as the public body.
Does Population Data BC carry out research on the data?
No, Population Data BC does not have its own research agenda.
More Information on Privacy