Confidentiality In The Age Of Technology

Category: Education

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Confidentiality in the Age of Technology : 

Confidentiality in the Age of Technology

What does Confidentiality mean? : 

What does Confidentiality mean? con·fi·den·ti·al·i·ty (knf-dnsh-l-t) n. The ethical principle or legal right that a physician or other health professional will hold secret all information relating to a patient, unless the patient gives consent permitting disclosure. The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

What is privacy? : 

What is privacy? “It is the desire by each of us for physical space where we can be free of interruption, intrusion, or accountability and the attempt to control the time and manner of disclosures of personal information about ourselves.” Smith, R. E., Ben Franklin’s web site:Privacy and curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the internet

Why do we care so much about privacy? : 

Why do we care so much about privacy? Soler and Peters (1993) outline several reasons for protecting the privacy of children and families: "protect embarrassing personal information from disclosure. prevent the improper dissemination of information about children and families that might increase the likelihood of discrimination against them. protect personal security. protect family security. protect job security. avoid prejudice or differential treatment encourage individuals to make use of services designed to help them. "Assurance of confidentiality is important because it enables people to seek help without fear of such results as stigma, retaliation, disapproval, or damage to other relationships. Confidentiality encourages both full disclosure, which is essential for effective treatment, and the maintenance of trust, the means by which treatment is effected." (1992, McWhinney, Haskins-Herkenham, and Harep. 1).

15 workers fired for accessing octuplet mom's file : 

15 workers fired for accessing octuplet mom's file By RAQUEL MARIA DILLON, Associated Press Writer Raquel Maria Dillon, Associated Press Writer Tue Mar 31, 12:41 am ET LOS ANGELES – Fifteen hospital workers have been fired and another eight disciplined for looking at medical records of octuplet mother Nadya Suleman without permission, hospital officials said Monday. Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center reported the violations of health care privacy laws to the state and has warned employees to keep away from Suleman's records unless they have a medical purpose, hospital spokesman Jim Anderson said. "Despite the notoriety of this case, to us this person is a patient who deserves the privacy that all our patients get," Anderson said. Anderson would not elaborate on how the other eight employees were reprimanded, saying only that the punishments were significant. A similar privacy breach at UCLA hospitals led to celebrities' medical information getting leaked to tabloids in recent years, including details of Farrah Fawcett's cancer treatment showing up in the National Enquirer. An investigation there resulted in firings, suspensions and warnings for 165 hospital employees, ranging from doctors to orderlies.

What information is transferred and stored within schools? : 

What information is transferred and stored within schools? Social History of families Assessments of students - IQ Grades, Progress Reports Health/Mental Health information Economic Information Social Security numbers Behavioral referrals/suspension notices Psychological/Psychiatric testing

The Technology Dilemma : 

The Technology Dilemma We are using technology at an ever increasing rate for storage and transfer of student data. Technology can save time and resources. How do we uphold privacy and legal requirements while maintaining efficiency?

What security does the law provide? : 

What security does the law provide? Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 1996 1. Electronic health-care transactions Standardizes the manner in which health services are claimed by any entity for any person in receipt of such a service 2. Ensures privacy (confidentiality) of all health-related services provided. This involves protection of health information for anyone in receipt of such services.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act-Buckley Amendment (FERPA a.k.a. Buckley Amendment) : 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act-Buckley Amendment (FERPA a.k.a. Buckley Amendment) All student data files and information must be protected (i.e. student files are locked or only accessible by appropriate personnel). Any student information/files transmitted to other appropriate recipients must also be protected. Information files must be encrypted and password protected. *** Student information/files may be faxed to appropriate personnel, but only to secure sites.


FERPA Written Parental consent is required for the release of any personally identifiable information Parents have the right to access all materials relating to the education of their child regardless of the medium “threatens the loss of federal funds to any educational entity that allows the dissemination of information from a student’s educational records to most third parties without parental consent”. *** See Procedures for Transmission of Student Specific Information for all communications between school districts/§4201 schools/counties and SED/DOH pertaining to student specific information.

FERPA Revision : 

FERPA Revision *An institution that determines that there is “an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of a student or other individuals, ..may disclose information to appropriate persons.” 2008 UDSOE published proposed modifications to FERPA regulations

Can a school be sued for disclosing confidential health information? : 

Can a school be sued for disclosing confidential health information? The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled in 2006 that a student with disabilities can sue his school district under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act for "bad faith and gross misjudgment" because the district failed to protect him from discrimination and harassment by other students after a teacher disclosed his medical condition to the student body.

Can school health services staff share confidential health information with other school district staff members? : 

Can school health services staff share confidential health information with other school district staff members? Health information can be shared when such internal communications regarding confidential student health information is shared for legitimate educational purposes. It must be shared in a confidential manner only with those individuals who are directly involved with the student in order to benefit the student and provide the student with appropriate educational services.

What may be disclosed w/o consent? : 

What may be disclosed w/o consent? Schools may disclose, without consent, "directory" information such as a student's name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. Schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them.

Allowed disclosures w/o consent : 

Allowed disclosures w/o consent School officials with legitimate educational interest;   Other schools to which a student is transferring; Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;   Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;   Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;   Accrediting organizations; To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;   Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Technology : 


IPods and Laptops and Jump drives! Oh My!!! : 

IPods and Laptops and Jump drives! Oh My!!!

Email : 

Email Email is like sending a postcard through the U.S. mail. As soon as it is mailed anyone can read it. NO password or encryption is totally secure. However, some are more secure than others. E-mail transmissions are permissible only if the data is encrypted and password protected. Information on encryption software is available from SED.

Current BOCES Policy 6015 : 

Current BOCES Policy 6015 Electronic mail and telecommunications are not to be utilized to share confidential information about students or other employees.

Passwords should not be sent over e-mail. Passwords should be relayed in a phoneconversation. : 

Passwords should not be sent over e-mail. Passwords should be relayed in a phoneconversation. Currently, software exists that identifies and captures e-mail messages that include the password; With the identity of a sender and receiver, it is possible capture all transmissions between them without the knowledge of the sender or receiver. Thus, any effort to password protect or encrypt an attachment is futile and, therefore, a violation of Standard 1.07m (SW code of ethics). How to Transmit a Password Protected Attachment New Social Worker Online

Encryption : 

Encryption is the process of transforming information (referred to as plaintext) using an algorithm (called cipher) to make it unreadable to anyone except those possessing special knowledge, usually referred to as a key.

PasswordsShhhhh!!! : 

PasswordsShhhhh!!! Don’t : write down your password!!! share passwords leave a password close to a computer (sticky notes on the screen!) load personal software from home computers leave computers unattended have the screen facing a traffic area leave doors open/unlocked

Email, Texting, YouTube, and TeachersOH MY! : 

Email, Texting, YouTube, and TeachersOH MY!

Youtube Student Cell Phones : 

Youtube Student Cell Phones Could your bad day end up on Search “Angry teacher” or “School Fight” Students, Parents, Teachers, and Administrators can view these. Student Cell Phones Privacy concerns Disrupt class Cheating School Rumors Sexting Locker room pictures Drug trafficking Gang violence

Personal Safety and Security : 

Personal Safety and Security Cell Phones Don’t give students your cell phone number. Utilize locking safety features on your phone. Don’t leave unattended Don’t have anything you wouldn’t want seen by others on it. Social Networking Don’t give out your profile information to students Don’t add students as friends Monitor your comments Reconsider your pictures.

Conclusion : 

Conclusion As the use of technology increases it is imperative that staff know the law, ethical standards and school policies that govern confidentiality to better address the needs of the diverse populations we serve.

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