Privacy and Information Systems
An Argument and an Implementation
Examines the social and technical implications of information systems in relation to the individual's ability to control the dissemination of information about himself. It is argued here that information systems must incorporate in their initial design safeguards to man's individuality while still providing society the information it needs to function effectively. These properties are control of access by the individual, accuracy and completeness of information, audit trail, and potent legislative support. The second part of this paper applies these properties of safe information systems to problems currently encountered in the medical environment. A toxicological information system, a drug information system, and patient's medical record information system are each analyzed in relation to society's right to learn and the individual's right of privacy. Suggestions are then presented for using available techniques to safeguard society's attempts at using the new information handling technologies.