Population Data BC is a multi-university, data and education resource facilitating interdisciplinary research on the determinants of human health, well-being and development.
We support secure research access to individual-level, de-identified longitudinal data on British Columbia’s 4.8 million residents, linking data across various sectors such as health, education, early childhood development, workplace and the environment. Population Data BC also offers a professional specialization certificate in Population Health Data Analysis, training researchers across Canada and around the world.
Key objectives of Population Data BC are to:
1) Make more data sets available for research
2) Facilitate cross-linkages among the data sets in a privacy sensitive manner
3) Provide strategic leadership to ensure streamlined researcher access to these data
4) Provide educational and other opportunities to ensure full and best use of those data
Population Data BC is also the host of the Canadian Data Platform, a distributed network that provides a single access portal connecting provincial and pan-Canadian data, enabling investigators to conduct multi-jurisdictional, person-focused research more efficiently.
The Internal Legal Advisor is Population Data BC’s in-house legal advisor, providing expertise in privacy law, negotiation and drafting of legal contracts, and strategic decision support. This position is responsible for interpreting provincial and federal laws as they pertain to the use of data for research purposes, and provides guidance on the opportunities and limitations these laws may have on the services that PopData is able to offer to the research community. The Internal Legal Advisor provides strategic decision support to Population Data BC’s leadership and fosters working relationships with stakeholders, legal counsels of collaborating institutions/organizations, and government partners. This position also oversees all privacy-related matters for Population Data BC.
Population Data BC is based at the School of Population and Public Health (SPPH), which is in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. We are a key member of the International Population Data Linkage Network, through which we have promoted international research collaborations and fostered working groups on privacy and access to data.
This position reports directly to the Managing Director of Population Data BC. The incumbent also works with other units and individuals, including data stewards, legal counsels of partner institutions, staff members, committees, board members, and cross-institutional committees.
– Provides key strategic support to PopData’s senior leadership, advising on overarching legal, information security and privacy matters
– Advises senior leadership on legislation as it pertains to the use of data for research purposes, including, but not limited to, the interpretation of both provincial and federal legislation in order to determine the opportunities and limits that these laws may have on the services that PopData is able to provide to the research community
– Maintains knowledge of current and ongoing legal issues that may impact PopData’s ability to operate
– Maintains a strong knowledge of, interprets and applies the BC Freedom of Information and Protection and Privacy Act (FIPPA) to development activities and initiatives engaged in by PopData
– Provides legal advice on the impacts of organizational process decisions or changes
– Identifies and recommends practices that protect PopData and in turn, the University, from undue liability
– Engages in external partnership development and management, as well as efforts to streamline researcher access to data
– Draws on expertise of federal and provincial privacy legislation and accreditation standards, as well as a thorough understanding of information security best practices to evaluate and modify PopData’s policies, agreements, and processes, ensuring full legal compliance
– Administers the Statistics Oath for all PopData staff members, as well as all academic researchers accessing data governed by the Statistics Act
– Oversees internal compliance with all policies and procedures, developing new policies and procedures as needed
– Leads the development and negotiation of complex legal agreements between Population Data BC and its partner organizations, including government, data providers, and other research data-related entities; this may include Services Agreements, Information Sharing Agreements (ISAs), Letters of Agreement (LoAs) and various other legal agreements. Liaises with UBC’s Office of Research Services, University Industry Liaison Office, University Counsel, and other key departments in the execution of such legal agreements
– Leads the acquisition and operationalization of expanded data available to researchers through PopData
– Oversees Population Data BC’s privacy program, including training for staff, students and researchers
– Develops and oversees appropriate internal auditing, tracking and monitoring to ensure compliance with all Information Sharing Agreements and internal policies.
– As chair of the Data Stewards Working Group, works with data stewards to develop common data access standards and ensure that privacy and security expectations of data stewards are met
– As a member of various provincial and pan-Canadian working groups, advises partner organizations and other data centres across Canada on legislation pertaining to access to data for research purposes, privacy legislation, privacy issues, and other related concerns
– Builds and manages relationships with senior external stakeholders and Legal Counsels of partner institutions
– Maintains PopData’s relationship with the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia
– Oversees the management and investigation of security and privacy events and incidents in keeping with the Information Security and Incident Policy, including all related reporting and policy modifications if relevant.
– Works with the Lead, Systems and Security to coordinate external audit reviews of privacy and security at Population Data BC as required by data providers
– Other related duties as needed.
The position reports to the Managing Director of Population Data BC and works with wide latitude. Supervision will be provided by means of regular meetings and ad hoc consultations at the request of the incumbent.
May supervise the work of other M&P and student staff. Supervises and provides mentorship to legal interns.
Consequence of Error/Judgement
This is a position in an organization responsible for providing services to the funders and the research community. As the primary person responsible for privacy and agreements, the assessment of issues and identification of the appropriate course of action is an essential part of the position. The incumbent must be capable of managing and coordinating many activities related to complex projects. The position involves considerable latitude in determining priorities, setting timelines and judgment in developing communications products that are professional, yet understandable. A lack of judgment or attention to detail could have a negative effect on PopData, SPPH, the University and our partner agencies.
Population Data BC relies on multiple legal agreements with stakeholders and data providers, as well as policies and procedures ensuring legal compliance in order to provide its services to the research community. If improper advice is given, or legislation is not properly complied with, this could have significant financial, reputational, or legal implications for Population Data BC, UBC, and/or its affiliated organizations.
This role will work under strict confidentiality because of the nature of the data holdings. Population Data BC’s core activities are critically dependent on the health information systems that have been developed and are maintained. Any breach in data security would place the reputation and future of Population Data BC as well as its partner organizations at risk.
Thinking creatively about the challenges facing the organisation and responding rapidly to changing needs and priorities will be necessary. Accuracy is essential since errors may have implications that affect the organization, the research community, stakeholders and public bodies.
Closing Date 2020/10/30