How Can We Balance Privacy Rights with Protecting Vulnerable Populations?

The case of a B.C. doctor who was recently forced to undergo fingerprinting with the RCMP is raising from eyebrows.

The doctor in question works with children.  He received a letter in the mail, demanding that he be fingerprinted in order to prove his identity.  If he didn't, his medical license could have been revoked.  Why?  Because he shares a similar name, birth date and personal characteristics with a recently pardoned sex offender.  

The doctor was fingerprinted, and it was confirmed that he is a completely different person.  

But now he says his rights were violated.  He is worried that the RCMP will force more doctors to undergo fingerprinting in the future and he feels that this is a serious invasion of privacy.  The B.C. Civil Liberties Association seems to agree.

Protecting vulnerable and at-risk populations is of utmost importance, but that doesn't mean that medical professionals should have to do away with their privacy rights.  So how do we balance these two seemingly competing interests?

This morning, I saw down with Roundhouse Radio's Gene Valaitis to talk about protected Charter rights, privacy and the public interest.

Listen to the interview here.

Sarah Leamon