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Emerging issues in public health information
  1. Bernard C K Choi1,
  2. Ali H Mokdad2
  1. 1Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Control, Public Health Agency of Canada, AL no 6701A, 120 Colonnade Road, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1B4, Canada; Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Toronto; and Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, University of Ottawa, Canada
  2. 2Behavioral Surveillance Branch, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr B C K Choi

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In recent years, two issues have emerged concerning the collection of public health information: the increasing popularity of mobile cellular telephones (cell phones), and the increasing interest of governments in protecting the privacy and confidentiality of their citizens’ health information. These issues have widespread, longlasting, and potentially adverse effects on certain aspects of public health research and practice.

Public health researchers and practitioners have increasingly relied on the use of computer assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) to collect public health information. The use of such telephone surveys is a cost effective method with which to access large samples quickly. However, the popularity of cell phones is emerging as a potential problem in CATI survey design because people in households with cell phones and no conventional landline telephone would …

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  • The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Universities of Toronto and Ottawa, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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