0148 Overcoming Canada’s privacy chill through data stewardship


Canada’s response to COVID-19 demonstrated the need to better collect, share, and use data for better health outcomes for individuals, communities, and Canada. Underlying this need is a pervasive privacy chill that prevents meaningful sharing of data that had negative impacts on the health sector. Many reports have called for bold action to deliver innovation.

Last year, work started on a pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy to overcome the systemic barriers impacting Canada’s use of data. A key outcome that will help this work is a shift from data privacy and custodianship to data stewardship. The role of a data steward includes accountability for ensuring data protections are in place and that data is available for achieving intended health outcomes. This conversation will talk about the journey to date in building this health data strategy and give a preview of the work to come.

Speaker: Vivek Goel, MD, MSc, FRCPC, Chair, pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy Expert Advisory Group and President, University of Waterloo 



Dr. Vivek Goel, MD, MSc, FRCPC Dr. Vivek Goel is a distinguished scholar with extensive achievements in research, teaching, and leadership across both public and private sectors.

Goel is recognized in Canada and around the world as a leading public-health researcher, health-services evaluation expert, and champion for the use of research evidence in health policymaking.

He has held a number of senior leadership roles at the University of Toronto including as Vice-President and Provost and most recently as Vice-President Research and Innovation.

He served as founding president and CEO of Public Health Ontario from 2008 until 2014 and also as a founding scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), where he continues as an adjunct senior scientist. Goel has served as Chief Academic Strategist with Coursera, a global platform that connects universities and learners with online courses.

He has extensive experience in governance and serves on the boards of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (as chair), the POST Promise as well as chair of the expert advisory group on the development of a pan-Canadian Health Data Strategy.

Goel is a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, a fellow of the Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences, and a Member of the Order of Canada.

Goel obtained his medical degree from McGill University and completed post-graduate medical training in community medicine at the University of Toronto. Dr. Goel obtained a master’s degree (MSc) in community health from U of T and a master’s degree (MS) in biostatistics from Harvard University School of Public Health.