#hcsmca: Privacy and You

This week's discussion focused on the hotly debated topic of privacy in the digital age. The chat kick started the 2015 #MedX flipped panel on the same topic.


  1. #MedX 2015 panelists Susannah Fox, Pamela Ressler, Jodi Sperber, Wendy Sue Swanson and Colleen Young are "flipping the panel" by sharing resources and starting the discussion early online. Today's #hcsmca participants supplied much fodder to reflect upon, resources to read and perspectives to bring to the #MedX stage and beyond.
  2. T1: How do you define privacy for you online?

  3. The group overall defined privacy differently depending on the setting the information is shared in and by the topic. There seemed to be consensus that privacy online essentially means being aware that your information could be shared with anyone and therefore only sharing what you are comfortable with, particularly when it comes to personal health information.
  4. T2: What is your "privacy calculus", meaning how do you weigh the benefit vs. risk when sharing health info online?

  5. For question two, the group seemed to agree that though the risks are important to be aware of and caution is key, the benefits to helping others and connecting with like communities outweigh any risks.
  6. T2b: We're online. What would you say to those not online about the benefits of sharing online that outweigh the risks?

  7. In this sub-question, the group's advice for those who might be hesitant to share online included: practicing caution, being aware of the type of information your're sharing and where you're sharing it, and the fact that sharing online has the possibility to connect people with supportive communities.
  8. T3: Have you resigned to give up privacy on social media/online spaces?

  9. The final question in today's discussion led to further questions about the very definition of the term "privacy". Overall, there was consensus that the group has not given up on the possibility of privacy online entirely, but that it can only exist to a certain degree. For example, it was discussed that privacy cannot exist in social media, but it can to a degree in certain online communities.