Free Chapter of New Book on Data
Is our society's enthusiasm for the collection and use of personal information (including medical information) in the name of research and greater efficiency taking us to places we might not want to go? Some of the drivers behind this trend can be seen in a compilation of essays in a new health policy studies book published by  McGill-Queen's University Press: Data, Data Everywhere: Access and Accountability?, edited by Colleen Flood ($39.95). The publisher is allowing us to give free public access on our website to a chapter in the book authored by one of long time board members, Wendy Armstrong. Her commentary, Getting Lost in Doing Good: a Societal Reality Check outlines many of the concerns raised by our association and includes real life examples from callers to our association.

Read "Getting lost in doing good: a societal reality check" by CACA board member Wendy Armstrong.
The chapter Getting Lost in Doing Good: A Societal Reality Check by Wendy Armstrong provides several examples of personal information being collected for personal and societal good ( such as improved health care delivery) that result in the misuse of private personal information.  Wendy Armstrong in various roles with the Consumers' Association of Alberta has monitored and commented on the collection and use or misuse of personal information for over a decade.  An individual's personal information can affect their employment, ability to access insurance, or to purchase property.  This is the case whether the information is accurate or not.  Further, collected information may be inaccurate but it is difficult to correct errors or even know the information has been collected.  This can result in unnecessary harm to individuals and poor policy decisions based on the incorrect data.