Online Program

You are being watched - how the erosion of privacy in America affects public health and social justice

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP, School of Community Health, Portland State University, Portland, OR

After a brief overview of historical conceptualizations of privacy in America, this session will describe various examples of the contemporary erosion of privacy, and how these examples affect health care and social justice.

Specific examples include public surveillance cameras, National Security Agency spying (with the complicity of telecommunications corporations) as part of the “war on terror,” electronic health record breaches, criminal theft of personal information, DNA databases, hospital locator badges to follow providers, the use of “mystery patients” to assess health care, the rise of data brokerage corporations whcih share personal information, the persistent criminalization of certain private sexual activities, asset forfeiture in criminal investigations, corporate espionage, unauthorized searches of employees' personal information (and the illegal use of pre-employment genetic and pregnancy testing), pharmaceutical data mining, employee drug testing.

Suggestions combatting the harms these practices inflict on the provider-patient relationship, workers' rights, and public health in general will be discussed.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss historical and contemporary notions of privacy in the United States Describe the ways in which privacy of citizens, patients, and providers can be compromised, by the government, corporations, and criminals Explain the consequences of the erosion of, and invasions of, privacy for public health Discuss how health care professionals and activists can work to preserve reasonable amounts of privacy, while still safeguarding public health

Keyword(s): Privacy, Public Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I teach, write, and frequently lecture on issues relevant to public health and social justice, including privacy
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.