Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner offers assistance regarding use of AI to health information custodians

November 30, 2023

EDMONTON – The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) for Alberta is responding to the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) by providing guidance regarding AI to custodians, as defined in the Health Information Act (HIA) and its regulation.

“We are well aware that the use of technology, including AI, is becoming ever more present in all aspects of life,” said Information and Privacy Commissioner Diane McLeod. “Pioneers of AI have been calling for appropriate oversight of AI systems and for guard rails around this kind of technology. This will be a focus for our office in the coming years, and part of our work will be to provide support for organizations so that their use of AI and other innovative technologies is in compliance with Alberta’s privacy and access laws.”

Artificial intelligence is an advanced form of information processing created for the purpose of automating and/or enhancing the performance of human tasks. Because it is still a relatively new type of technology, many organizations are likely to be unfamiliar about how best to ensure their use of AI complies with the law.

“There are potential benefits that can result from the use of AI, including improved productivity, enhanced delivery of traditional healthcare, and optimization of the clinical services being provided,” added McLeod. “Clinics and physicians can do their part to prevent any possible harms to patients by asking the right questions and gathering the right information, before adopting an AI system in their operations.”

The new guidance on the use of AI is particularly focused on small custodians in the health sector. It has been published on the OIPC’s website at

Through the OIPC, the Commissioner performs the responsibilities set out in Alberta’s three access to information and privacy laws, the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP Act), the Health Information Act (HIA) and the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA). The Commissioner operates independent of government.

For more information:

Elaine Schiman
Communications Manager
Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta
Mobile: (587) 983-8766

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