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Privacy legislation and research

Research in Nova Scotia must comply with both the Personal Information International Disclosure Act (PIIDPA) and the Personal Health Information Act (PHIA).


The Personal Information International Disclosure Protection Act (PIIDPA) came into effect in 2006. It protects privacy by restricting the disclosure of personal information outside Canada, as other countries may not have equivalent data protection laws. Personal information (including participants’ personal health information and researchers’ CVs) may be stored or accessed outside Canada only with the consent of the individual.


The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA) came into effect on June 1, 2013. This legislation, similar to that in existence in other provinces, deals with the collection, use, disclosure, retention, disposal, and destruction of personal health information. PHIA introduces new requirements for research in Nova Scotia, which has led to modifications to many procedures, practices and forms at Nova Scotia Health.