Identity Theft in Canada

How is the Risk of Identity Theft in Canada Different than in the US?

Identity theft is certainly a risk for consumers in the United States, but it seems that the risk of identity theft might be even greater for consumers in neighboring Canada. In Saskatchewan, public registries are a great source of information for identity theft criminals, and consumers are at risk.

Canada Needs to Make Some Changes

Many critics agree that Canada needs to make changes to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Consumers are at particular risk for identity theft due to the ease and availability of information contained in public registries. Many Canadian officials have expressed the need for changes to this law that will better protect consumers from identity theft.

Outsourcing Personal Information?

Personal information and medical records can be outsourced to independent contractors outside of Canada, and experts believe that this puts consumers at risk for identity theft. In the US, new HIPPA regulations have prevented medical transcription and billing from being outsourced overseas, which has decreased the risk of identity theft for many consumers. The Province’s Information and Privacy Commissioner released an annual report which highlighted the need to create privacy laws that will punish violators heavily and protect consumers from identity theft.

Can Canada Learn From New US Practices?

Fortunately, in the U.S. we are protected to a greater extent. In fact, most people in the United States complain how difficult it can be to get access to information on other individuals, specifically the important medical information of sick relatives. The new HIPPA laws prevent unauthorized individuals from having access to an individual’s medical information and that, in some cases, can include a person’s social security number. Prior to the new HIPPA regulations, many United States hospitals outsourced their medical transcription accounts overseas, which put consumers at an increased risk for identity theft.

The fear of identity theft associated with outsourced medical transcription has now been done away with as US hospitals are now required to keep all work on shore. That is certainly a good thing for consumers concerned about identity theft. Perhaps Canada may want to consider the same regulations.

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