Statement of Information Practices

BORN Ontario is a prescribed registry established in Ontario under the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA) for the purpose of facilitating and/or improving the provision of health care in Ontario, with a vision for the best possible beginnings for lifelong health. 

As a registry, BORN is afforded the authority to collect, use and disclose personal health information, without consent, for the purpose of facilitating or improving the provision of health care. This special authority requires BORN to develop and adhere to privacy policies that are reviewed and approved by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) of Ontario, including an overarching Privacy Policy.

BORN Ontario is proud to be a trusted steward of personal health information. The materials in this section of our website explain our responsibilities and demonstrate how our privacy program works to protect the information in our custody.

BORN Ontario has implemented a rigorous program to protect personal health information from theft, loss, unauthorized access, copying, modification, use, disclosure and disposal. BORN conducts audits and investigations to monitor and manage our privacy compliance. The registry’s information practices and procedures are reviewed and approved by the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario every three years.

Only BORN staff who are trained in privacy, have a need to use personal health information in their specific role, and have signed confidentiality agreements, are authorized by BORN to access and use personal health information to carry out required BORN functions

Collection of Personal Health Information

BORN collects personal health information from health-care providers such as hospitals, midwives and laboratories through a review process which ensures compliance with PHIPA. The personal health information collected includes:

  • Information about hospital and home births in the province, including interventions and outcomes in labour and birth
  • Results and follow-up from prenatal screening provided to pregnant women for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18 and Neural Tube Defects
  • Information about services provided to women whose babies have suspected or confirmed birth defects
  • Newborn screening test results indicating whether a baby might be at risk for a rare but treatable disease

View a list of data elements collected in the BORN Information System.

Purpose for the use of Personal Health Information

BORN uses personal health information to ensure health-care providers and organizations have the necessary knowledge to assess and improve the quality of services available to mothers, infants and children in Ontario.

The information is also summarized to produce reports and analyses for planning and management of the health-care delivery system at the organizational, provincial, or other regional levels. Public reports do not contain personal health information or identify individuals; these analyses provide aggregated data only. The reports are made available online through reporting.  Learn more about how BORN improves and facilitates health care.

Limiting disclosure

BORN provides data to organizations who use it for purposes in accordance with the BORN mandate, such as boards of health, while conforming to the limiting principle that only the minimum personal health information necessary for the purpose will be provided. BORN also facilitates research on maternal and child health issues as authorized by law. BORN works with researchers who have made requests for BORN data to ensure:

  • The minimum amount of identifiable information is included
  • The appropriate agreements with researchers regarding confidentiality and security are in place
  • The work is subject to the requirements of the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (PHIPA), including review and approval by a Research Ethics Board

Security Safeguards

Personal health information within BORN is protected by administrative, physical and technological controls that adhere to industry best practices for security and safeguards against unauthorized accidental or intentional release of information.

Examples of these protections include state-of the-art electronic security, requirements to educate all users in their responsibilities to protect the data and report any problems, and places of business with appropriate locks and other physical controls.  

Learn more about keeping data secure.

Access and Correction

If you make a request to BORN to access your own personal health information, BORN will help confirm whether or not your information exists in the system and help direct you to the health information custodian who was the source of the information. BORN will encourage you to contact the original health-care provider for access to the information so you have the best information and the best opportunity to have it explained, if necessary.

Any requests to correct your personal health information should be directed to your health-care provider.

More Information

Details of the BORN Ontario privacy policies, frequently asked questions, and other information can be found under Privacy Resources.

Complaints or concerns about BORN privacy policies and procedures may also be sent to the BORN Privacy Officer by email, phone, or in writing. Individuals are encouraged to complete a BORN Complaint Form and submit it to the Privacy Officer, who can be reached as follows:

BORN Ontario Privacy Officer

BORN Ontario
CHEO Research Institute | Centre for Practice-Changing Research Building
401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON | K1H 8L1


Information and Privacy Commissioner (IPC) Approval

BORN as a prescribed person for the purposes of section 39(1)(c) under Ontario’s Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) must have in place practices and procedures that are approved by the Information and Privacy Commissioner every three (3) years:

*The review and approval documentation is publicly available on the IPC’s website 

Individuals may make a complaint regarding compliance to the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 and its regulation to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario who can be reached as follows:

Information and Privacy Commissioner 

2 Bloor Street East | Suite 1400
Toronto | ON | M4W 1A8
Phone: 416.326.3333 or 1.800.387.0073
E-mail IPC
IPC website