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Info Tech Act

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Information Technology Acts
Technology has affected us in a very positive way and has increase quality of life. However, everything comes with a price and at times disadvantages. A major disadvantage is the loss of privacy in many different levels, from our personal lives to our everyday routines but also in the work environment. As a response to the invasion of privacy, the government has passed several laws to counteract this trend and try to protect us and our privacy in some extend. In this paper we will discuss the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
Telephone Consumer Protection Act The telephone has brought great benefits and has become a necessity. At the same time, several companies use this as a tool to drive sales and increase profits. Telemarketing is one of the ways companies have taken advantage of this great invention. Who has not been the victim of these intruding and harassing phone calls? This is an issue that has plagued millions of people across the United States since the late eighties.
People felt their privacy was being invaded. Their phones numbers and contact information was being sold and shared amongst many companies while they were being bombarded with phone calls in the privacy of their own homes. There was a sense of loss of personal control and privacy. As a result, the government passed the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 in response to the increasing amount of commercial solicitation calls consumers were receiving.
The purpose of TCPA is to battle telemarketers and maintains residency’s privacy. The act laid out certain policies companies must follow when marketing through the telephone. Some of the rules consist of providing the solicitor’s name, the name of the entity whose behalf the call is being made, and a telephone number or address where they can be contacted. Another regulation is that the calls can only be made between the hours of 8am to 9pm. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act
The digital technology has radically transformed the world, particularly the health care industry. Since healthcare is a very information-rich industry, the electronic health records (EHRs) provide a method which allows faster and accurate flow of information. With EHRs, information is available whenever and wherever is needed. This technology is a wonderful and amazing tool when in the hands of the right people and the purpose is valid and appropriate. The misuse of the electronic health records is an invasion of the patient’s privacy.
Examples of misuse are instances where individuals are using patient medical records in ways that have nothing to do with their health care. A good example would be when a celebrity is submitted into a hospital for an emergency and a nurse who is not providing care for the celebrity “steals” the patient’s information. The nurse accesses her information to find out why the celebrity was submitted to the hospital while at the same time accessing personal medical records etc. Then the nurse sells this information to the media, in order to make a little bit of extra money. This is an inappropriate use of the EHR. The nurse in this scenario uses her position and authority to access personal information about the celebrity for personal gain. This was not one of the intended and original goals of the EHR.
In response to these situations, the government passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The main goal of the HIPAA is to protect the patient’s privacy and information. The act sets regulation on how the patient’s information should be stored, accessed, and provides rules on how the patient’s information can be protected. For example, the nurse can only access information for patients that she provides care for; therefore the act is limiting and restricting the health care workers from accessing random file records. In addition, any documents containing patients’ information must be properly disposed.
Conclusion
The technology has made people’s information easily accessible to everyone, which it is no surprise that companies and many other individuals have monopolized on this benefit for their own personal agenda. Fortunately in the situations described in this paper, the government intervened and passed acts to protect our privacy.

References: 1. Health Information Privacy. (). Retrieved from http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/ 2. United Sates Department of Labor. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/portability.htm 3. Electronic Privacy Information Center. (2014). Retrieved from http://epic.org/privacy/telemarketing/…...

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