Paper Information

Journal:   SOCIAL WELFARE   SUMMER 2007 , Volume 6 , Number 25; Page(s) 321 To 342.
 
Paper: 

AN INTRODUCTION TO ELECTRONIC HEALTH INFORMATION PRIVACY LAW

 
 
Author(s):  ASLANI HAMID REZA*
 
* 
 
Abstract: 

Objectives: Nowadays Information & Communication Technologies have influenced all realms of human life. Today there is an attempt to make every human being activity in the form of electronic and digitized version to facilitate and accelerate it. As result of such an ongoing fact which can be called as "information revolution", today we hear so much of some phrases such as E-Business, E-Learning, E-Money, E-Banking, E-Government and recently E-Health. The advent of E-Health, Telemedicine and the development of modem electronic social security system, need enhanced and updated database of health status of the citizens. Personal data which need legal protection can be divided in six categories: Health and Genetic Data, economic and commercial data, data relating to personal ideas and beliefs, sexual life data, criminal condemnation data and general personal data. The scale of importance of personal data differs as a result of kind and nature of them. So, sensitive personal data which needs a more comprehensive protection differs from common ones for which a usual protection will suffice. Electronic Health Information is certainly some kind of sensitive personal data which should be kept under the highest security standards and any kind of infringement to such data is forbidden and punishable in most of the legal systems. Survey & analysis of a proportionate legal system for such data in information technology age is of special necessity to develop E-Health project. Today E-Health file plays a very important role in the society health system.

Methods: This research is a descriptive and analytic one, in which we have tried to show the deficiencies of the Iranian legal system in this field, through analysis of legal sources & regulations of different legal systems and comparing the results with the Iranian ones. For this purpose we will employ the internet sources as hard copies of books and papers as the same as some international, domestic and foreign acts, conventions and documents.

Findings & Results: In different legal systems the security of Electronic Health Information which is the most important field of E-Health project, is provided through legislating special vindicative acts. Iran laws pay much more attention to correctness of data than to protecting correct data. So apart from some limited protection made in relation to some special jobs such as lawyers and physicians we will see nothing more than defamation and alike criminal institutions as data protecting acts. As contrast to some of leading and advanced legal systems in the field of Information Technology Law, (such as United States of America & members of European Union, The Convention on Cyber crime) the Iranian legal system has not made some favorable protection of personal health and genetic data. This will cause the Iranian E-Health Filing project abortive. So some revision is needed to update the Iranian legal system and observe the international standards. Though there is some effort to pass new comprehensive acts governing all kinds of personal data amongst Health and Genetic Data but up to the date they have not come to force and the defect has made Iran legal system situation crucial.
 
Keyword(s): CONVENTION ON CYBER CRIME, DATA PROTECTION, E-HEALTH PROJECT, HEALTH AND GENETIC DATA, HIPAA, PERSONAL DATA, PRINCIPLES OF DATA PROTECTION, PRIVACY
 
References: 
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