Running head: DATA PRIVACY 1


Short- and Long-Term Effects of Sharing Personal and Medical Data

  1. Introduction

The advancement in technology has led to the production of a large volume of human information for economic and medicinal uses. Information plays a significant part in the identification of social issues and helps effective device solutions to daily problems in human life. Although personal and medical info is essential, there are at times when people who have access to the data misuse it for financial gains. When it comes to data privacy, a lot of controversies exists as most people are unaware of their right to privacy. People use internet services where they input sensitive personal or medical data. Most online platforms such as social media have become a significant source of traffic for advertising consumer products and services.

Most websites use the information which the users enter and optimize the searches on the internet. Search engines such as Google use browser cookies to direct specific ads to some clients depending on the critical works in the history of individual searches. Online targeted adverts seem like exploitation of internet users or a form of manipulating people to buy some products from an online store. The psychology of the ads employs smart algorithms which use human information to identify what someone likes on the internet. It is a form of attracting potential clients or generating substantial traffic to a website. As the online adverts become a social issue, there is a need for awareness concerning the impacts of sharing personal or medical info over the internet. Some people claim that information leakage leads to misuse of human information and hence there is a need to educate individuals on temporary and lasting consequences of sharing personal info.

  1. Personal Data

In Europe, personal info means more than human names alone. A simple detail is shown in the identification documents, bills, and other critical documents which reveal the identity of an individual. Information is a broad field of knowledge which helps Europeans to be aware of their cultural identity, internet addresses, and even critical locational data. In Europe and other modern countries with advanced internet infrastructure, an IP address is personal information which is essential for human identification (ICO, 2018). Own names, addresses, and location data identifies are used to keep a human updated with the time of his location since it is provided by the satellites, and hence information plays an essential role in the process of identifying what people who use the internet. Internet service users do love various things which they search on the internet in their life and the intelligence gathered is then applied in designing catchy adverts which generate traffic to people and benefit some individuals.

There is various information which people input in website forms to open accounts on the internet. A good example is social media such as Facebook. The personal information which people supply concerns what they like, places they visit, and above all individuals write their contempt in life, and other human details which can be exploited for financial gains. Some online adverts employ the use of data provided by clients who are not aware of the lack of privacy when adverts are posted on their walls, and they feel it is right. Various companies prefer advertisements which attract more clients to buying products. The products could be food, clothes, or living palaces. What is most controversial in the argument of this paper is the misuse of critical medical data to reveal conclusions which can lead to medical issues among some people. As one reads the article, there are various laws which are sighted in Europe which prohibit the use of medical data without patient’s consent.

3 Medical Data

Medical data is the information which gives details of the personal data of patients. The report must have names of the patient and other sensitive data such as telephone numbers, billing addresses, and bank account names. The sensitivity of medical data implies that medical practitioners and anyone responsible for storing patients’ information have to secure it from theft or changes. For instance, a confusion of patient’s diagnosis can lead to treatment of the wrong disease and subsequent consequences which will make a doctor liable for misconduct, yet it is the information which the doctor uses to treat a patient that is wrong due to tampering.

According to the World Health Organization policy on the right to patients’ privacy of data, it is illegal for medical officers to disclose a patient’s confidential information. The above claim by Cohen and Mello show the importance which medical information concerning the right to privacy of data can have more prolonged effects on medical ethics and medical laws (Cohen and Mello, 2018). What one can learn from the claim by Cohen and Mello is that medical information is the private data for a patient who might be on the hands of medical researchers, students, physicians, or the public. There is no distinction between medical data and personal info since both are synonymous when it comes to a medical practitioner. Personal info thus implies medical data for both short and long-term implications of shared electronic information.

  1. Means of Sharing Data

Personal and medical information can be shared through physical or electronic means. Most common ways of sharing medical information include visual test results such as in HIV/AIDS and Blood Sugar Level testing. Also, written laboratory reports or physicians’ descriptions and transcriptions are forms of physical data sharing. Electronic sharing of data involves the use of phones, fax, and emails. Through a device with an internet connection, modern doctors and it becomes critical for information privacy to arouse ethical arguments as found in research on the use of public media by students studying medicine and Physicians in helping to enhance the solving of medical issues.

In their research findings Avcı, Çelikden, Eren, and Aydenizöz explain how 89.3% of students in the field of medicine use Facebook for professional purpose. The students can also decide to make personal blogs where they share medical data to enhance their learning process. Social platforms, primarily through the internet are one of the conventional channels for sharing information among researchers (Avcı, Çelikden, Eren, and Aydenizöz, 2015). Sharing of information through online conversations is a strategy for discussions where people can give their opinions and experiences to other curious parties and in the end lead to benefits to other people.

  1. Importance of Data Sharing

Sharing of information is an essential part of human life. People learn from other people by acquiring crucial data on methods and procedures for performing various tasks. Sharing of info helps in the education of individuals and also the improvement of human skills. The most crucial aspect of sharing data concerns product research to improve the quality of goods and services. In a business setting, client reviews help the business to give opinions concerning the commodities which people buy and as a result, the companies make guided choices on how to manufacture better products. In the field of medicine, information concerning health conditions, disease symptoms, and drug reactions assist researchers in disease diagnosis, drug development, and conducting drug tests. Although medical researchers are sensitive in nature, some patients volunteer to be test subjects while others chose to share medical information to help in disease diagnosis, treatment, and control of vital health issues. Sharing of data is thus an essential factor which should be encouraged. However, it is necessary that the consent of an individual lead to sharing of personal information, unless there is an intention of jeopardizing data privacy.

  1. Risks of Sharing Personal and Medical Data

Berwick and Gaines thus critique the HIPAA Policy issues in the field of medicine where the doctor has the right to condemn any form of violation of the patient’s medical data at whatever cost. Human data which is confidential is the ultimate health privacy a patient has, which is more than manipulation to give secret health information which can be used to lure patients to drug tests, and other exploitations concerning the health of the individuals (Berwick and Gaines, 2018). Pharmaceutical companies do need to acquire enough evidence and necessary information as they make new drugs and types of equipment. Having prior information concerning what people like and dislike is the foundation of medical equipment development. Although there is a high risk that personal information can be misused when it falls into the wrong hands, it also implies that some individuals or organizations can use the info to do helpful work without exploitation of data privacy.

Nevertheless, information must be a personal property whose right to use is the authority of an individual. In assumption, there cannot be actual data form non-existence persons. Thus, one’s information should be given the privacy it deserves. In the internet, hackers take advantage of insecure data to perform cybercrimes such as frauds. Electronic information should be encrypted to prevent theft. The vital aspect of electronic data is that it can be financial credentials such as bank accounts, passwords, e-mail, or transaction data. All such kind of information should be secure to prevent loss or exploitation. When people share their info and medical data, it is essential that they ensure only reliable persons have access to sensitive data. Some personal information such as passwords and pins should be private, and restricted sharing should be highly encouraged.

  1. Short-Term Implication of Data Sharing

Sharing of data has some implications depending on the intention and use of the information. Research data play an important, informative role in solving human issues in the world. There are various databases such as World Bank data and World Health Organization data which are open for use by other people. The short-term implications of data sharing are critical for short period studies by either students or small corporations which employ research findings from previous researches to find gaps for more reviews. Students in engineering and science studies, for instance, conduct small investigations which depend on survey data from other people. It is through the willingness of individuals in taking part in the studies that people share private information with other individuals.

Learning from other people means that there is granted access to the data and hence sharing is essential for education and research purposes. According to Kim and Zhang, sharing of personal data in research surveys has impacts on the psychological behavior of the targeted population in research. People decide to give information which is true or a lie depending on the beneficial aspect of a survey or a study case (Kim and Zhang, 2015). The short-term impact of data sharing can, therefore, imply either benefit or loss of confidential data. It is essential for one to consider how secure information is kept before sharing it with other people.

  1. Long-Term Consequences of Data Sharing

When people share information which leads to learning, more individuals acquire technical skills for solving living challenges in life. There are various problems in human life which require an input of essential data to aid in issue solving. People have to be transparent by sharing methodologies which can be applied to solve common social problems. If no information is available for guidelines in the medical and economic studies, it is clear that more time will be utilized in finding practical solutions as trial and error methodologies will be applied in studies.

Data or information sharing can be accomplished through giving out better design strategies to help curb homelessness, practical means of innovation to help solve disease and poverty, or actual procedures to assist in creating more helpful solutions to natural disasters in the world. As Figueiredo explains in his journal, sharing of information is one of the crucial means of transformation of life from challenges to essential opportunities. What the author implies is that people with helpful information can share during problem investigation and perhaps aid in the findings of research to give better solutions for a given challenge in life (Figueiredo, 2017). People are a great source of information, and ownership of data is dependent on the human need for intelligence. Sharing data for research purposes in the field of medicine is a life-saving contribution.

  1. Conclusion

Personal and medical information is an essential part of human properties which require being kept safe from theft, interference, or exploitation. Personal data does not differ from medical data, because information of an individual is similar to the medical information of a patient. The slight variation is that medical data is more critical in comparison to simple personal details. Medical data might have confidential information such as disease diagnosis, genetic info, and personal health issues which must be kept secret. It is an offense for individuals such as doctors, or the state government to track human information through electronic devices or internet without the targeted person having an awareness of infiltration of data privacy. The HIPAA and the US v. Graham, 824 F.3d 421 (4th Cir. 2016) case law reveals the importance of data privacy and also criticize the abuse of the human right to information privacy.

Such information from cross-section investigations, research terms and internet policies indicate the likelihood of privacy violation of patients’ rights of privacy. Medical data is, therefore, of vital importance and perhaps mentioning patient’s names or any linking info to anyone is a breach of the right of privacy.

Doctors should ensure they fight to safeguard their patient’s rights amidst pressure to violate professional ethics. What is clear is that students could be people who are learning through medical researches which are empirical but manipulate certain patients to personal blogs for health services for gifts. The long-term and short-term effects of the use of personal and medical info can be applied in the field of medicine, ethically, to ensure there is more development of health policies which prohibit access of other people’s data which is crucial for their health. There is a need for transparency of medical application of social media in exchange for patient’s health records or medical issues against a patient’s consent. Moreover, it is a fact that some patients such as children and psychologically affected patients.


Avcı, K., Çelikden, S. G., Eren, S., & Aydenizöz, D. (2015). Assessment of medical students’ attitudes on social media use in medicine: a cross-sectional study. BMC medical education, 15(1), 18.

Berwick, D. M., & Gaines, M. E. (2018). How HIPAA harms care, and how to stop it. Jama, 320(3), 229-230.

Cohen, I. G., & Mello, M. M. (2018). HIPAA and protecting health information in the 21st Century. Jama, 320(3), 231-232.

Figueiredo A. S. (2017). Data Sharing: Convert Challenges into Opportunities. Frontiers in public health, 5, 327. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2017.00327 is personal data?. (2018). Retrieved from

Kim, Y., & Zhang, P. (2015). Understanding data sharing behaviors of STEM researchers: The roles of attitudes, norms, and data repositories. Library & Information Science Research, 37(3), 189-200.

US v. Graham, 824 F.3d 421 (4th Cir. 2016).

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