National Surveillance, Privacy, and Social Media

When you’re a member of the medical community, patient privacy is one of the utmost concerns you’ll ever have. The topic has been covered in this blog previously.  With Mr. Snowden admitting that our government is spying on its citizens, he’s alerted us that patient confidentiality is jeopardized (along with everything else imaginable). Did he break the law for the greater good? Hmm…

But let’s add a wrinkle to the subject.

People are on social media for all sorts of reasons.  Here are some of them:

  • Education information
  • Health resources
  • Product/service awareness
  • Entertainers
  • Public officials
  • Business affairs
  • News media outlets
  • Music
  • Merely to socialize and find new contacts/friends

Unfortunately, there are millions of people on social media who breached their own privacy long ago before the surveillance programs came to light. The topics they’ve posted. Documents for all of the world to see. The language and behavior on social media would make a truck driver blush.  This is the World Wide Web, after all. Firewalls are only as strong as the people behind them, and the character behind the people.

So what does social media have to do with psychology?  Critical thinkers understand.


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