Colleges Struggle to Define Privacy in Computer Age

By 1996, Boston Globe | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 22, 1996 | Go to article overview

Colleges Struggle to Define Privacy in Computer Age


1996, Boston Globe, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Can the records of a few sessions with a college counselor today come back to haunt you years from now, like when you've just been nominated partner in a law firm?

You're madly in love with your boyfriend, but your birth control suddenly failed, so you drop in for a pregnancy test at the health service. The good news - it's negative - is scrawled into your medical record.

Will there be a co-payment charge for the test on your term bill, which goes to your parents? Could the record of your love troubles someday wind up in the wrong hands, like when you've decided to go for the big job? Privacy advocates say college students may have even more to fear than the rest of us from the growing centralization and computerization of medical records, and from new laws that could undermine confidentiality for decades to come. For one thing, students have more years of life ahead in which troubling tidbits can lurk in cyberspace for employers or insurers to find. For another, they're still learning their way around the medical system and experimenting with relationships that can trigger medical visits. Some colleges, such as Harvard and Wellesley, have written confidentiality policies that explicitly put a priority on privacy - with a few exceptions. At Wellesley, "no records are released without a student's consent unless it's a life or death matter or unless it's required for insurance or the chart were subpoenaed," said Dr. Charlotte Sanner, director of the health services. And on-campus counseling records are "kept separate and locked up," said Robin Cook-Nobles, director of the Wellesley counseling service. Other schools, including Smith College and the University of Massachusetts, are so concerned about privacy, they offer anonymous - not just confidential - AIDS testing, which means test results don't even go in your record. Harvard and Tufts are considering adopting similar policies. Some argue that colleges are more sensitized to confidentiality issues than institutions in the outside world because they've spent years walking the tightrope between the rights of students, who are legally adults at age 18, and the concerns of parents, who worry about their not-quite-independent offspring - and still pay the bills. Just a few weeks ago, Congress passed the Kennedy-Kassebaum bill which ensures portability of benefits from job to job but mandates "administrative simplification." This sets in motion a process that could give every patient a unique "identifier" like a Social Security number and create a national computer network to allow health care companies to pass records among themselves.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Colleges Struggle to Define Privacy in Computer Age
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.