Applied Sciences

  • How do you think governments should strike a balance between individual privacy and the need to conduct surveillance for pandemics like COVID-19?

These are informal but professional discussions with your peers about the weekly topic. The goal is to allow other students to hear your perspective and to hear about alternative views that they may hold.

  • Requirements:
    1. Create an original post following the prompt (5 points).
  1. Respond to a thread started by another student with your take on their views (5 points).There must be a balance between individual privacy and the need to conduct COVID-19 surveillance. Governments will find it difficult to obtain critical data that could aid in the surveillance of COVID-19 due to the inability to maintain the confidentiality of individual health information. People are more likely to participate in self-reporting and contact tracking if measures are created to ensure their data is used to aid in the pandemic and dismissed once the pandemic is over. According to the United Nations Global Pulse Data and Governance Leader, Mila Romanoff, compromising patient data is a primary concern as the information needed to save lives violates people’s privacy. (1) Romanoff suggests minimizing the exposure of COVID-19 surveillance in an effort to prevent intrusion on privacy by limiting the utilization and collection of data only when it is absolutely necessary. This poses a challenge as the question arises “how much data is enough?”. (1)The percentage of adults that utilize social media has increased by 64% since 2005. (2) Therefore, I believe the use of social media as an avenue for population or personal health management has increased patient engagement through the adoption of technology. Social networking platforms used by health care professionals can enhance patient awareness, care, education, and engagement by providing information that can prevent negative health outcomes from impacting the community. My concern with the use of social media to promote population and personal health is in regard to HIPAA and other privacy laws that potentially breaches the confidentiality of health information through online communication. It is important for healthcare professionals, that use social media to interact with others, to de-identify medical information regarding a patient when distributing information, comments, pictures, or videos. (2)

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