Privacy Principles to Guide Artificial Intelligence Use  

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Federal, and provincial privacy authorities have launched a set of principles to guide the responsible provision and use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in Canada. 

While generative AI presents potential benefits across many domains including health care, the regulators note that risks and potential harms exist to privacy, data protection and other fundamental human rights if these technologies are not properly developed and regulated. The recommended safeguards in the use of generative AI are not meant to stifle innovation, but to reduce potential harm.

Patricia Kosseim, Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, says the set of principles developed can help to mitigate privacy risks, particularly when it comes to how these technologies can affect vulnerable and historically disadvantaged groups who may experience systemic discrimination or bias.

The joint document lays out how key privacy principles apply when using generative AI models, tools and products as it pertains to the delivery of health care and other services.

Physicians who use AI are expected to be mindful of their legal and medical professional obligations, including privacy and confidentiality, and how patient data will be transferred, stored, and used, and whether reasonable safeguards are in place to protect patient data. Physicians are also required to obtain patient consent to the use of the technology/recording. For more information, please refer to our Protecting Personal Health Information policy.