Marc Rotenberg, who runs the Electronic Privacy Information Center and is called to testify whenever the House or Senate debates privacy legislation, is often cast as a liberal attacking free markets and free marketing and standing opposite data collection capitalists like ChoicePoint or the security experts at the Department of Homeland Security. Many Americans would argue their right to be left alone while holding a gun on their doorstep. People write e-mails and type instant messages they never expect anyone to see.
As I walked through the halls, I tried to imagine what hospital-based social work was like when Ida Cannon was pioneering this specialty at Massachusetts General Hospital in the early 20th century. Once discharged to their homes, patients can wear monitors that feed important data wirelessly to healthcare professionals, and patients who find themselves in dire circumstances can summon emergency help by pushing a button that hangs around their necks.
Times have changed and at an exponential pace that many of us find difficult to grasp. Most of us can hardly imagine returning to the days before this technology existed, although we sometimes complain about the resulting demands on our lives.
Along with the spectacular and life-altering changes that have occurred with the advent of modern technology are a number of unique and unprecedented ethical challenges for social workers.
The most glaring ethical implications concern issues of communication, service delivery, and healthcare. Communication Perhaps the most obvious ethical issues involve confidentiality and privacy. Practitioners have long understood how privacy and confidentiality are essential ingredients in trusting relationships between social workers and clients.
Several technological innovations used widely by social workers pose unique threats to client privacy and confidentiality.
Most social service agencies and independent practitioners now maintain computer-based client records for clinical or billing purposes. Although firewalls and passwords provide considerable protection, these mechanisms are not infallible.
Social workers in nearly every setting now use fax machines routinely in their communication with clients and other professionals. How many social workers contact the receiving party to ensure that incoming faxes will be retrieved immediately and will not be available to unauthorized parties?
I often remind audiences that sending a confidential document via fax is akin to sending a love letter on a postcard: Any curious individual who handles the missive can read its contents.
The Convenience-Surveillance Tradeoff. explain the complicated series of privacy-related calculations that modern life increasingly requires. But privacy issues don’t necessarily involve large faceless institutions: A spouse takes a casual glance at her husband’s Blackberry, a co-worker looks at e-mail over your shoulder or a friend. Surveillance cameras are video cameras used for the purpose of observing an area. state, and federal agencies to install modern video surveillance equipment. For example, the city of Chicago, the use of surveillance technology to offer commentary on surveillance or surveillance technology;.
What steps do social workers take to ensure that sensitive documents are not faxed to the wrong party for example, as a result of a misdialed fax number? Similar breaches can occur with wireless telephones.
Some cellular telephones are susceptible to eavesdropping on inexpensive scanners. In one case a social worker intended to send a confidential message to a colleague about a mutual client.
Service Delivery With the advent of Internet communications has come a wide array of Web-based social services. Among them are clinical services offered by social workers and other mental health professionals who provide psychotherapy exclusively via e-mail communication.
Under this arrangement, the provider and client do not meet in person. Rather, the social worker uses Internet communication to conduct an assessment and to provide clinical services. Pertinent ethical issues concern the adequacy of such computer-based services i.
Key questions include the following: Do clients fully understand the nature of the clinical services they will be provided via the Internet, including their advantages e.As biotechnology and computer technology advance, substantial privacy issues will continue to arise. The challenge of protecting health information is compounded by the increasing reliance upon digital data.
These cameras are truly an abuse of power by the government, and are an unethical used of technology in our society.
A topic that people are very reluctant to realize is .
Aug 12, · It seems the technology made the situation we're in inevitable and there is every reason to believe technological advances will lead to privacy being an illusion.
About Us Editorial PolicyReviews: In some cities we can expect to be seen by security cameras around three hundred times during a single day.
The increasing pervasiveness and sophistication of surveillance technology raises philosophical questions both epistemic (to do with the acquisition of knowledge) and .
We weigh in on the top 5 problems with technology in education today. Technology has been used in most schools for decades, but it still has some hiccups. We weigh in on the top 5 problems with technology in education today.
but it still has some hiccups.
We weigh in on some of the most problematic issues facing the edtech world today. 5. For the Record: Understanding the Technology Behind Body Worn Cameras Interest in body worn cameras is growing fast. Here are some issues to consider before you deploy.