Personally Identifiable Information
Information gathering, through networking, social media, and both on and offline storage have made it easier to collect information about an individual than ever before, with many concerns having arisen over the years about privacy and the ability to protect that privacy. As debates over personally identifiable information continue, one cornerstone remains a constant, ethics. Ethics are defined as “the standard by which human actions can be judged right and wrong (Online, 2012)”, but even that can be debated when discussed within the realm of information technology. Have you ever been to an internet shopping site and “trusted” the secure connection? Essentially, you are entrusting an inanimate system developed by an individual or group
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If certain specific criteria were to be omitted, then this should leave the information too vague and generalized to be harmful, or it would seem. Removal of the information, but maintaining access to a complete database as a reference, would still allow for that individual to be identified. Because of this, there must be a standard for electronic medical records, from a legal standpoint. “There is no black and white definition across the health care industry of what constitutes a legal EMR”, as stated by Sheila K. Nicholson, “this requires the physical therapy clinic or department to determine, before printing, what information is to be included. (Richardson, 2011) ”
Websites visited, information openly sent via the Internet and even electronic data stored on a hard drive can provide a wide range of personally identifiable information. We do our best to protect ourselves from providing too much information but we are not always successful. At times, information you provide can be recorded as a public record and pose a potential risk to identity theft. In the end, however, it all comes down to the user protecting his or herself and always being cognizant of one question: Am I being watched?
Articles.CNN. (2001, November 7). Retrieved from CNN.Tech: