This past week Facebook changed their privacy policies for teens between the ages of 13 and 17. Before, all their posts and information were only visible to their friends list. Now it can be viewed by the world at large. I emphasize can be because this doesn’t automatically mean that everything ever that your kid has posted on Facebook will all of a sudden be made public. What it does mean that as a parent you’re going to have to be even more vigilant now of your kids’ behavior on Facebook.
Let’s face it, teens are stupid. Yes, even yours. When I was a teen I was stupid too and so were you. While teens’ Facebook profiles will still be friends only as default you just know some idiot teen is going to set their profile to public. Ideally you should have the e-mail address and password used for your kids’ Facebook. However, if you’re one of those ‘trusting’ parents *rolls eyes* here is how you can tell who your kids are sharing their Facebook posts with. You really should have their sign in information though because even if your Facebook friends with your kids they can still hide posts from you or anyone of their choosing.
Facebook says they’re doing this to give teens more freedom but in reality it probably has more to do with advertising. Also Facebook never had a predator problem as much as MySpace did. With these new ‘freedoms’ they’re giving teens that’s all about to change.
MySpace gripe about patient sparks federal privacy complaint:
I can greatly identify with this story because in my real life I’ve worked in the healthcare industry for the past 2 decades. However this is also yet another example of nothing being private on the internet.
Stephanie Sicilia works for an OB/GYN office. That’s a gynecologist for you not in the know. And as everyone does in the healthcare industry she complained about her patients. Her mistake was is that she posted it on her MySpace.
In one item posted to her MySpace blog in late 2007, Sicilia, then 29, referred to patients at the practice as “the tramp troop,” saying of one: “her stories are entertaining but I’ve only slept with as many people as she has had abortions.” In another post, she mocked a patient who had asked where she could buy the gingerbread cookies the doctor had recommended to remedy nausea, writing: “SOME WOMEN SHOULD NEVER REPRODUCE!!!!”
While I currently work in a different field than Ms. Sicilia I can definitely commiserate with her. However with those posts she may have broken a very serious law in our industry known as HIPAA. In a nustshell HIPAA defines how patient’s information needs to be protected. For at least 5 years or more HIPAA has been drilled into our heads with the threat of possible jailtime if a patient’s private information is compromised. Since you’re reading this here you can guess what happened to Ms. Sicilia.
One of the patients she wrote about says she recognized herself in Sicilia’s post and says the other person was a friend of hers. Even though she did not name the patients she could be facing some serious legal ramifications.According to the Ars Techinca article only one practice has ever been fined for violating HIPAA but it’s only a matter of time before the Dept. of Health and Human Services makes an example out of someone.