- Waller deemed competent to stand trial (1/11/17)5
- Young Elvis impersonator from Bernie performs on 'Ellen DeGeneres Show' (1/12/17)
- Two subjects of interest in 1992 homicide to take polygraph tests (1/15/17)8
- Business notebook: Jackson salon owner also opens a clothing store (1/16/17)
- Two men shot after argument; houses also struck by bullets (1/12/17)21
- 113 drug tests at Jackson High net one instance of illicit usage (1/11/17)15
- Cape SportsPlex contractor offers a look at the project (1/15/17)14
- Meat-processing plant faces $70K penalty for Clean Water Act violations (1/17/17)2
- Two Cape men recovering after shooting (1/13/17)
- Governor cuts $146 million, colleges take hit (1/17/17)
New health privacy rules start in April
Privacy issues have become big business. A whole industry -- telemarketing -- has been sharply curtailed by no-call laws intended to let people choose to protect their privacy. Many other laws regulate information that once was considered open to anyone. One good example: Parents can't find out the grades their children earn in college without the students' written consent.
The tension between a desire for privacy and the public's right to have access to information is growing. Effective April 14, new comprehensive federal regulations for health-care privacy take effect. These rules were written the Department of Health and Human Services at the behest of Congress after lawmakers were unable to resolve differences on the issue.
Many of the new privacy rules are commonsense guidelines. But some aren't. For example, members of the clergy will no longer have access to lists of hospital patients and may miss opportunities to call on parishioners or deliver Holy Communion.
There is a fine line between privacy rights and government-sponsored secrecy. The danger is knowing where to draw it.