The P.E.I. government is hoping to strengthen protection from unauthorized "snooping" into private health-care information records with new legislation coming into effect on July 1.

Karen Rose, P.E.I.'s Information and Privacy Commissioner, said on CBC News: Compass that the Health Information Act will encourage people to provide all of their relevant personal health information on the grounds that it remains private. Otherwise, the concern is that people may be reluctant to provide full health information.

Karen Rose

P.E.I. Information and Privacy Commissioner Karen Rose says that people will be less inclined to provide full health information to a health care provider if they don't believe it will be kept private. (CBC)

"If we want optimal health care [and] if health care providers want to provide the best care, then they want all of the personal health information that is relevant," she said.

"And, if you think that it's possible that you may give your personal health care information to a custodian and they may disclose it to somebody else or even to an employee within the office who shouldn't have access to it, then you will not likely provide all of your personal health information."

Culture of privacy protection

Rose said the legislation helps protect private health care information by giving organizations and providers a unified set of rules to follow to help prevent breaches.

She added that the legislation requires that breaches must be reported to the individual whose record was breached as well as the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner.

"We can help ensure that whatever breach it was, it won't happen again because we can give recommendations and advice to ensure a culture of privacy protection," she said.

With files from Compass