POGG as a Basis for Federal Jurisdiction over Public Health Surveillance

Sina A. Muscati

Abstract


In the aftermath of Severe Acute Respirato- ry Syndrome (SARS) and with concern growing about avian flu, mad cow, and other emerging diseases, public health surveillance has become a matter of importance to Canadians. Such sur- veillance is a key component of the fight against these diseases; it involves the systematic collec- tion, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of data about health-related events for use in public health responses. Indeed, new technolo- gies enable “data mining” at an unprecedented scale, both in the amount and type of informa- tion that can be collected, and in the extent to which that information can be used to identify public health concerns. All this has made the concept of “anonymous” information less and less realistic.


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