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E-Learning Courses on Data Privacy and Anonymization


Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute



Project Leader(s)

Khaled El Emam


The researchers developed two e-learning courses on anonymizing data—covering the legal and regulatory framework around the privacy and responsible sharing of personal information, and how to properly anonymize data—intended to increase the awareness of re-identification risk and effective de-identification guidelines in both the public and private sectors.

The courses aim to positively impact the protection of privacy rights of a large number of Canadians by educating the private sector on defensible data anonymization techniques, and by educating data recipients of their privacy obligations.

The first e-learning course focuses on Anonymizing Data and is intended for practitioners looking to apply the best guidelines and strategies in the de-identification of personally identifiable information. This course contains twelve e-learning modules that summarize the case for de-identifying data (beyond simply masking of direct identifiers), explain disclosure risks, describe methods to properly de-identify personally identifiable data using a risk-based strategy that incorporates contractual and security controls, and provide guidance on an appropriate governance framework for the handling of personal information. This course is suitable for analysts that are responsible for the sharing of personal information for reuse, to ensure the best guidelines and practices are being used to de-identify data.

The second, shorter course focuses on data privacy and anonymization, and was created to educate data recipients. This course helps reduce the risks of re-identification by educating users on the legal and regulatory framework around the use of personal information, and the risks and obligations in working with anonymized data. It also provides a primer to understand the contextual factors considered in a risk-based anonymization framework.

Project deliverables are available in the following language(s):



OPC Funded Project

This project received funding support through the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Contributions Program. The opinions expressed in the summary and report(s) are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada. Summaries have been provided by the project authors. Please note that the projects appear in their language of origin.

Contact Information

Khaled El Emam
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO)
Research Institute, Electronic Health Information Laboratory (EHIL)
401 Smyth Road
Ottawa, Ontario

Telephone: 613-737-7600 ext. 4147

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