Former Winnipeg police officer found guilty of snooping into relatives' health records

A former Winnipeg police officer was found guilty of breaching the province's personal health information act by snooping into the private health records of 13 people.

Criminal charge under PHIA filed by Manitoba ombudsman in April was first of its kind

A former Manitoba Health official and Winnipeg police officer is accused of accessing the private health information of 13 people. (Getty Images)

A former Manitoba Health employee was found guilty of snooping into the private health records of 13 relatives.

The man, who worked as an auditor and risk analyst for the provincial department until 2014, was charged in April 2016 with one criminal charge under the Personal Health Information Act.

Before working for Manitoba Health, the man had also been a Winnipeg police officer.

The criminal charge was the first of its kind under the Personal Health Information Act and carries a maximum potential fine of $50,000. It was filed by the Manitoba ombudsman after an investigation that started in November 2014.

The unauthorized access prompted the province to review and update its policies around the act to boost accountability and create more ways to monitor whether employees are following the rules.

On Wednesday, Judge Cynthia Devine found the man guilty of violating a section of the act prohibiting provincial employees and officers from using, accessing or attempting to access somebody else's personal health information.

He'll be sentenced on June 21.