Canadian Health Measures Survey: Cycle 2 - Privacy impact assessment


The Canadian Health Measures Survey was originally conceived as a one-time study through the federal government’s health information roadmap initiative. Now ongoing funding is in place to maintain a continuous CHMS beginning in 2010-2011. Cycle 2 of the CHMS (2009-2010) however, is being conducted during the transition from one-time study to ongoing program and is virtually a repeat of the inaugural survey (Cycle 1).


A privacy impact assessment for the CHMS: Cycle 2 was conducted to determine if there were any new privacy, confidentiality and security issues associated with Cycle 2 of the survey, and if so, to make recommendations for their resolution or mitigation.


The CHMS will collect information that will help evaluate the extent of health problems among Canadians in such areas as chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes and cardiovascular disease), infectious diseases, lifestyle characteristics (e.g., physical activity and nutritional status) and environmental exposures. The survey will also provide a means to explore emerging public health issues and new measurement technologies.

The CHMS collects data from over 5,000 Canadians through a questionnaire administered in the household and physical measure tests administered in a mobile examination centre (MEC). The MEC will be set up in 16 different sites across Canada for Cycle 2 and will remain in each location for about six weeks. Cycle 2 survey collection will begin in September 2009 and continue over 24 months.


This assessment concludes that, with existing Statistics Canada safeguards as well as the additional advisory and oversight bodies that have been put into place for the CHMS, any remaining risks are either negligible or are such that Statistics Canada is prepared to accept and manage the risk.

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