Privacy, Confidentiality, and Justice

Journal of Social Philosophy 45(3): 408-431, 2014

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 108

25 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2015 Last revised: 31 Mar 2015

John G. Francis

University of Utah - Political Science Department

Leslie P. Francis

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

Data about public health issues such as HIV are being collected from many different sources and being used in many different ways. The traditional distinction that has been drawn with respect to data protection policies lies bet-ween identifiable data — protected by individual consent — and data that have been de-identified, not protected very much at all, except possibly against re-identification. When identifiable data are sought for public health purposes, the ethical permissibility of their use is framed in terms of conflicts between individual rights and the public good. In this article, we have argued that it is a mistake to draw the primary ethical line between identifiable and de-identified data, and to see the primary ethical conflict as between individual rights and the public good. Instead, strategies must be developed to improve justice in the collection and use of data, whether identifiable or de-identified. We have suggested at least three such strategies: transparency, participant involvement, and reciprocal benefits for those affected by data collection and use.

Suggested Citation

Francis, John G. and Francis, Leslie P., Privacy, Confidentiality, and Justice (2014). Journal of Social Philosophy 45(3): 408-431, 2014; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 108. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2564320

John G. Francis

University of Utah - Political Science Department ( email )

260 S. Central Campus Drive
Room 252
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
United States
801 585 3460 (Phone)
801 585 6492 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.poli-sci.utah.edu

Leslie P. Francis (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

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