#CyberFLASH: Privacy breach: Six GTA hospitals gave patient info to photographers


Six GTA hospitals compromised their patients’ personal health data by routinely handing it over to baby photographers who paid for access to maternity wards — breaches revealed by extra scrutiny following a major breach at Rouge Valley Health System.

As far back as 2009, Mount Sinai, North York General, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, Humber River, Toronto East General and Rouge Valley Health System hospitals inappropriately gave up the information of tens of thousands of new mothers.

In some cases, the records included the patients’ name, age, length of hospital stay, attending physician, type of diet, reason for admission to hospital, type of delivery and baby’s birth date.

“It wasn’t the proper process. We should have simply been providing the name and room number,” said Elizabeth McCarthy, a spokesperson for North York General.

McCarthy estimated more than 5,000 patients at North York General alone may have been affected between March 2013 and February 2014.

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