This Policy describes the privacy and confidentiality commitments of the BC Centre for Disease Control (“BCCDC”) in the operation of the GetCheckedOnline website (the “Site”), which is operated by the BCCDC and the Provincial Health Services Authority (“PHSA”). The purpose of the Site is to provide access to STI testing through the internet. Through the Site, clients will be able to create an account, complete an assessment questionnaire, create a lab form for STI testing, and receive negative results online and positive results over the phone.
We are committed to maintaining confidentiality and personal privacy. Collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information is subject to, and must comply with, the provisions of the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). The purpose of this privacy notice is to describe our practices regarding personal information use and
collection through this website. Please note that we do not disclose, give, sell or transfer any personal information about our website visitors unless required for law enforcement or otherwise provided for by law.
We reserve the right to update this policy at any time. Users are responsible for reviewing this document periodically for changes.
What is Personal Information?
Personal information means recorded information about an identifiable individual other than business contact information and would include, but is not limited to, such things as an individual’s name, address, birth date, e-mail address, phone number and care card number.
What Kind of Information is Being Collected and How is it Used?
PHSA is authorized to collect personal information via the Site under section 26 (c) of FIPPA for the purposes described below. Information is collected from the website either automatically
or directly from you.
Information Collected Automatically
We use a web analytics tool called Google Analytics to analyze site usage, what visitors do on the Site, which browser they use, etc. This information is obtained from Internet Information Server (IIS) log files and allows us to understand how the Site is being used so that we can improve the user experience. We collect only the following information as you browse through the Site:
- Internet Protocol (IP) address, browser-type and operating system (the IP address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your internet service provider or directly to your computer. This address can be translated to determine the domain name of your service provider and may identify you. The last two digits of your IP address are masked and are not provided to Google.)
- The date and time of the visit.
- The pages visited within the Site.
- The address of the referrer website.
- The search term(s) used to find the Site (if referred from a search engine).
We collect this information for statistical purposes and for evaluating the Site to make it more useful to visitors. We use IP addresses to generate geographic-related statistics, and to help administer the Site, in general. We make no attempt to
link addresses with the identities of individuals visiting the Site.
Cookies are small amounts of information stored by your web browser software on your computer. Cookies are used to track browsing history on a website. This allows the user to interact with a website in an effective way and improves the usability of the site.
GetCheckedOnline uses temporary cookies (“session cookies”), which means that the information collected is deleted as soon as you leave the website. If you have signed up for an account on GetCheckedOnline, you will be required to login every time.
Information Collected Directly from You
You should also be aware that information provided by you becomes a record of the organization and is subject to the
access and privacy protection requirements set out in the BC Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This information may be further collected, used and disclosed in accordance with that Act or as otherwise required by law. Under this legislation you are also entitled to access and correct any of your personal information that is within our custody and control. You may make such requests by contacting the privacy representative listed below.
The following information is collected / displayed for each of the services identified:
- Create an Account: As required by current clinical and laboratory practice standards, GetCheckedOnline clients must provide a first and last name, date of birth, gender identity, and sex assigned at birth, as well as a valid email address and password, in order to use the service. Your name, date of birth and sex will become part of your clinical record at the BCCDC, and your date of birth and sex will be used to identify you at the LifeLabs location where you give your samples. Although it is not mandatory, we also recommend that you provide a phone number so that we can contact you quickly with your test results if you test positive or if there was a problem with your samples at the lab. We also ask for the city you live in and for your ethnicity – this information is optional and will be used for evaluation purposes only. Any optional information that you provide will also become part of your clinical record at BCCDC.
- Create Lab Form: In order to create your lab form, you will be asked to complete an online assessment questionnaire. The assessment asks questions about your sexual history, similar to what you would be asked by a doctor or nurse during a clinic visit. Your answers will be used to decide which tests will be recommended, what additional educational messages will be provided and when you will receive an email reminder to test again. BCCDC clinical staff may access your answers to the assessment questionnaire for purposes of providing counseling and support in the event of a positive diagnosis. When you print, create a PDF or email your lab form to yourself, the only personal information that will show on the lab form is your date of birth and your gender, along with your GetCheckedOnline client code and the tests ordered for you.
- Test Results and Test History: Once your test results are available, you will receive an email from GetCheckedOnline, asking you to log into your GetCheckedOnline account to view your results. If your results are negative, you will be able to see them on your Tests & Results page. If there was a problem with one of your samples at the lab, or if one or more of your test results was not clear, or if you tested positive for an STI, you will see a message asking you to contact the clinic. Test results will be shown on your account for one month (30 days), and then will be deleted. Your test history can be viewed on your Testing History page. Only the date on which your lab form was created, the tests that were ordered, and whether or not all results were received will show on your Testing History page.
- Contact Us form: If you have questions, comments or complaints about GetCheckedOnline, you can send them anonymously using the form on the Contact Us page. If you want to receive a response to your question or comment, you will need to provide your email address. Your email address will be kept confidential.
- User Surveys: From time to time, the BCCDC will conduct surveys with users of the GetCheckedOnline service. These surveys are for evaluation purposes only, to help us understand how we may improve the Site and the services that it provides. If you indicated in your GetCheckedOnline account that you are interested in hearing about evaluation activities, you may be contacted (by email) by the BCCDC and invited to participate in a survey. If you respond to a survey, the information that you provide will only be used for analysis and reporting, and will be provided anonymously. It will not be linked to you and cannot be used to identify you. Surveys will be hosted by Checkbox, a Canadian provider of survey
tools. All surveys will be hosted on Canadian servers and all survey data collected will be stored in Canada.
- Interviews: From time to time, the BCCDC will conduct interviews with users of the GetCheckedOnline service. These interviews are for evaluation purposes only, to help us understand how we may improve the Site and the services that it provides. If you indicated in your GetCheckedOnline account that you are interested in hearing about evaluation activities, you may be contacted (by email) by the BCCDC and invited to participate in an interview. Interviews are optional – indicating that you are interested in hearing about evaluation activities does not obligate you to participate in any interviews.
- Analysis: Personal information collected through GetCheckedOnline will be linked to data in the databases described below under Information Retention and Disclosure, and then de-identified. The de-identification will delete client name, date of birth, GetCheckedOnline client code, clinical database identifier number and any laboratory database identifier numbers. This de-identified data will then be used to conduct analyses for purposes of evaluating the GetCheckedOnline service.
Information Retention and Disclosure
The BC Centre for Disease Control is responsible for maintaining clinical records for every client that tests at an STI clinic that is operated by the BCCDC. These records are kept in secure databases on secure servers that are maintained by PHSA. These databases are accessed by BCCDC staff for purposes of providing care to clients, and for analysis and reporting of
STI and HIV trends in BC.
When you test for STIs using GetCheckedOnline, you are considered to be a BCCDC STI clinic client. This means that your personal information (name, date of birth, sex, email address, phone number, city, ethnicity) and your test results will be entered into the BCCDC clinical database. Your record in the clinical database will also be linked to your GetCheckedOnline account by a unique identifier number. Information stored in the clinical database will be retained indefinitely for purposes of providing continuity of care to clients, and to keep a record of any care provided by clinicians, as required by the College of Registered Nurses of British Columbia.
When you test through GetCheckedOnline, the Provincial Public Health Laboratory at the BCCDC will perform all tests. As a result, a small amount of your personal information (date of birth, sex), along with your GetCheckedOnline client code, will be saved in the Provincial Laboratory database. This is a secure database stored on secure servers that are maintained by PHSA. Laboratory staff and BCCDC staff will have access to this database for purposes of processing tests and looking up test results. Information stored in the Provincial Laboratory database will be retained indefinitely.
How Else May We Use or Disclose Your Personal Information?
From time to time, the BCCDC engages employees, representatives, agents or contractors to perform additional work on the Site, such as maintenance or an upgrade to the Site. Access to information about our users is never granted unless it is required to do the work, and in those cases, only the minimal amount of information is made available. Any service providers or individuals who provide such work on the Site are required to provide written privacy protection and confidentiality undertakings, and owe legal obligations to maintain the privacy of all personal information.
We may disclose or share the information you provide if it is required for law enforcement purpose, if it is
subject to a Court order, or if the disclosure is otherwise required by law.
The Internet is not a fully secured method for communicating. Most emails are inherently insecure because they are not encrypted and are subject to interception or incorrect routing. Emails sent from GetCheckedOnline are not encrypted. This means that if you choose to email your lab form to yourself, or if you send a message using the Contact Us page or another email address published on GetCheckedOnline, the information may be intercepted and read by a third party.
To protect your privacy, we do not include information about your test results in any emails sent from either GetCheckedOnline or the BCCDC. Emails that contain lab forms include only your GetCheckedOnline code, date of birth, gender and the tests you have ordered.
The BCCDC is not responsible for any damages suffered by individuals as a result of the email transmission of information that is sent to or from the BCCDC. The BCCDC is not responsible for any errors or changes made to information that is transmitted by email.
GetCheckedOnline contains links to other websites. The BCCDC is not responsible for the privacy practices of these websites. Please review the privacy policies for these sites and make sure that you agree with their policies before proceeding.
How We Protect Your Personal Information
PHSA is obligated to protect your personal information by making reasonable security arrangements against such
risks as unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal. Security measures have been integrated into the design, implementation and day-to-day operating practices as part of PHSA’s continuing commitment to the protection of personal information it holds.
The BCCDC takes the following measures to protect your personal information:
- All the information provided and collected by the Site is stored on secure servers that are located in Canada and maintained by the Provincial Health Services Authority.
- All BCCDC employees, representatives, agents and contractors must comply with Provincial Health Services Authority and BCCDC privacy and confidentiality requirements.
- We use many methods (encryption, firewalls, restricted access to data, etc.) to protect your information against unauthorized access, collection, use, disclosure or disposal.
- We limit the number of BCCDC employees who can access the information you provide on our site. Only those employees with a need to know have access to this information.
- Any information used for statistical, reporting, site evaluation and site improvement purposes is not linked with any information that could be used to identify you.
- Your name will not appear on your printed GetCheckedOnline lab form. Only your GetCheckedOnline client
code, your date of birth and your gender will appear.
- We will never sell or provide your email address to other companies, entities or individuals.
We collect only the minimum amount of information required on the Site to ensure that our services are as confidential and private as possible. However, the Internet is not completely secure, as third parties may unlawfully intercept or access communications. While we are committed to protecting your personal information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security
Accessing and Updating Your Personal Information
You can update your GetCheckedOnline account information at any time. To update your account information, you must log into your GetCheckedOnline account and then click on the My Account link in the top right corner of the website. This will bring you to the Edit Account page. If you update your email address, you will need to verify your new email address by clicking on the link in the email that will be sent to you by GetCheckedOnline.
You can delete your GetCheckedOnline account at any time. To delete your account, you must log into your GetCheckedOnline account, click on the My Account link in the top right corner of the website, and then click on the Delete Account link on the left side of the page. You will be asked to indicate why you are deleting your account.
Tips For Protecting Your Privacy
- Your email address and password are required to access your GetCheckedOnline account. Do not share your password with anyone.
- Clear your browser history and cache after each use of the Site or use your browser’s anonymous browsing mode.
- Use an email account with a name that is not linked to your real name or other information which could identify you.
If you have any questions about the collection or use of your information, or the content of this policy, please send an email to GetCheckedOnline@bccdc.ca or contact:
BC Online Sexual Health Services Program Manager
Clinical Prevention Services, BC Centre for Disease Control
Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Copyright © 2018. Provincial Health Services Authority. All Rights Reserved.
Last revision date: March 2018