moved online, many Americans have expressed concern about breaches. 28
Data generated in the health, financial, and commercial sectors has huge
implications for our economic interests both domestically and globally. 29
Such information can have as much economic value as other goods and
services30 even across borders. 31 The free flow of data nationally and
internationally allows for international financial transactions, remote
monitoring of supply chains and equipment, and for improved diagnostic and
imaging services. 32 How do we approach health information’s regulation and
use in comparison to other nations? How do we regulate data’s exchange
across borders? How do other countries view such data’s exchange with us?
This paper will look at the regulation of health information both
domestically and with a specific focus on Canada, one of our largest trading
partners, for several reasons. Our nations share a common border, speak a
common language, and have a long history of regulatory collaboration in
many areas. Often, regulatory schemes harmonized between our two nations
pave the way for further harmonization efforts internationally. 33 Thus,
overcoming the challenges with data exchange across our northern border
may yield opportunities that can be harnessed elsewhere. 34
I. GATHERING DATA
The growth of health IT allows clinicians to capture patient data
instantaneously. In the United States, federal investment into health IT for
physicians and hospitals has led to a dramatic increase in digitized health
28. Ashley Kirzinger et al., Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August 2016, KAISER FAMILY
FOUND. (Sept. 1, 2016), http://kff.org/global-health-policy/poll-finding/kaiser-health-track
29. See generally Expanding U.S. Digital Trade and Eliminating Barriers to U.S. Digital
Exports: Hearing before Subcomm. on Trade, H. Comm. on Ways & Means, 114th Cong. 7-8
(2016) (statement of Robert Atkinson, President, Information Technology and Innovation
Foundation) [hereinafter Expanding U.S. Digital Trade].
30. Id. at 4–5.
31. ORG. FOR ECON. CO-OPERATION & DEV., PRIVACY GUIDELINES 1, 19 (2013)
(“Innovations, particularly in information and communication technologies, have impacted
business operation, government administration, and the personal activities of individuals.”)
[hereinafter OECD PRIVACY].
32. Expanding U.S. Digital Trade, supra note 29, at 5–7.
33. For an overview of regulatory cooperation between the United States and Canada, see
WILSON CTR., CANADA-U.S. HEALTH SUMMIT 2015, 12–19 (2016), http://pages.wilsoncenter.
[hereinafter CANADA-U.S. HEALTH SUMMIT 2015]; see also CAN.-U.S. REGULATORY
COOPERATION COUNCIL, JOINT FORWARD PLAN (2014), https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/
default/files/omb/oira/irc/us-canada-rcc-joint-forward-plan.pdf (outlining future regulatory
plans between the United States and Canada).
34. See generally CANADA-U.S. HEALTH SUMMI T 2015, supra note 33.