The data access considerations contained within the Research Data Access Framework (RDAF) build on data access documents from other local, national and international institutions, including the “Data Access Policy” that governed access to data from the BC Linked Health Database (BCLHD) from 1996 through 2009. The BCLHD was originally a cooperative venture between the British Columbia Ministry of Health Services and the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, and later expanded to include the Vital Statistics Agency, BC Cancer Agency and WorkSafeBC. > more on the history of the research data service
Access to data from public bodies for research purposes is governed by a variety of legislation and supporting policies, including the BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), initially proclaimed in 1993. This Act provides individuals with personal information privacy rights and, under specified circumstances, access to personal information that is collected or controlled by public bodies in British Columbia. Government ministries, provincial agencies, and universities are all considered public bodies. Population Data BC (PopData), as partnership within BC universities, is bound by the same provisions as its “parent” organizations, under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The Information Sharing Agreements, such as the one between the University of British Columbia and the Ministry of Health, detail the authorities and legal terms and conditions for the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information between these two public bodies. PopData is covered by these provisions.
In compliance with statutory requirements, PopData has completed a Privacy Impact Assessment that outlines its privacy and security compliance, including detailing its risk management framework, consisting of accountability and advisory input, physical security, network security, and human resource controls.