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How to balance patient's right to know when patient information is disclosed in prevention and control?


After the outbreak of new crown pneumonia, in the prevention and control work, some patients' personal information was disclosed

For the public's right to know, should we surrender personal privacy?

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At the moment of epidemic prevention and control, relevant government departments have the responsibility to release relevant epidemic information in a timely manner. At the same time, there have been multiple incidents of personal information leaking across the country. On the one hand, we must protect the public's right to know, and on the other hand, individual privacy cannot be ignored. This requires law enforcement departments to master the "degree" in specific law enforcement.

Shortly after Wuhan was closed to the city due to the outbreak, Xiong Chao, a lawyer at Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, received two consultation calls from patients diagnosed with New Crown Pneumonia. "After the illness, their personal information, including name, ID number, home address, mobile phone number, etc., was transmitted on the Internet without any cover." Xiong Chao said, "They feel that their right to privacy has been violated, but I don't know how to protect rights. "

At the moment of epidemic prevention and control, relevant departments release timely epidemic information every day to facilitate the public to know whether there is a risk of infection in the surrounding environment, to grasp the trajectory of confirmed or suspected crowds, and to take precautions. However, incidents of leakage of personal information related to the epidemic also emerged, and some patients even suffered discrimination, harassment and abuse. During the anti-epidemic period, on the one hand, we must protect the public's right to know, and on the other hand, individual privacy cannot be ignored. How to balance the two? A reporter from Workers' Daily conducted an interview.

Ask who can collect and publish personal information?

In the early days of the epidemic, Xiong Chao had seen the detailed personal information of patients being spread randomly, even including his personal photos and work units, in different WeChat groups.

"Now some community properties and commercial supermarkets require registration of name, phone number, and address, and some even need to register ID numbers." Many netizens said that if they do not register, they will be deemed not to cooperate with prevention and control; when they register, they feel personal information. " "Together" too easily.

In fact, during the epidemic prevention and control, laws and regulations clearly define who has the right to collect and publish personal information of citizens.

"According to relevant regulations such as the Emergency Response Law, the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases, the Emergency Regulations on Public Health Emergencies, etc., the subjects that have the right to collect and release citizen information include disease prevention and control institutions, medical institutions, designated professional and technical institutions, and Sub-districts, towns, neighborhood committees, village committees, etc. Other entities must not collect and publish citizens' personal information without authorization, "said Xiong Chao.

In response to some community property and other community service organizations requesting to register personal information, Professor Xu Xu of Renmin University of China law told reporters that the provision of information cannot be compulsory, but must be based on individual voluntary consent.

"The community is not the subject of law enforcement. If authorized by the relevant government agency, it should be regarded as a commission, and personal information cannot be collected and published in the community's own name." Wang Xu said.

Wu Xuhua, director of the Internet Information Professional Committee of Hangzhou Lawyers Association, also said: "In special times, medical institutions and disease prevention and control institutions may collect and use personal information without the consent of the recipients. However, the remaining entities, including various types of employers, residential property neighborhood committees, and transportation When collecting personal information, the transportation department must clearly indicate the purpose of collection and use to the subject and obtain their consent. "

The reporter found that there have been many cases where people have been punished for publishing and leaking personal information. For example, on February 19th, Shi Moumou of Shanxi Jincheng sent a report containing personal information about patients and close contacts to the village WeChat group, causing the personal information of 32 close contacts to be leaked. Shi Moumou was punished by law and order according to law.

Second, what is the scope of the “hand over” privacy?

"According to the Infectious Diseases Prevention Law, citizens are obliged to cooperate with relevant units and institutions in conducting investigations and provide relevant information truthfully, and shall not refuse to provide them on the grounds of personal privacy," said Xiong Chao. No information about the privacy of citizens may be disclosed during the collection of information. "

On January 28, the content and screenshots of the electronic version of the "Investigation Report on a Case of Pneumonia Reported by a New Coronavirus Infection" in the Fourth People's Hospital of Yiyang appeared in the WeChat group of the residents of Yiyang Broadcasting and Television Homeland, Hunan, etc. Personal privacy information of 11 persons including one person and his relatives. After investigation, it was caused by Shu Mou, deputy director of the Health and Health Bureau of Yiyang Heshan District, via WeChat. Shumou was investigated by the party.

"The right to collect information does not mean that it can be freely disclosed." Wang Xu pointed out, "there must be legal due purpose and due process to make the information public and use it within the legal scope."

What specific information can be collected? Wang Xu pointed out: "These information should be directly related to epidemic prevention, and must be closely related to the purpose of epidemic prevention."

On February 6th, Beijing released a community or place where new cases were active, which involved 7 administrative districts and 18 communities or places in Beijing. "Publishing the trajectory of action can help citizens know the surrounding environment and effectively prevent it." Wang Xu said, "but information such as ID number, name, mobile phone number, home address, and even house number cannot prove that it is directly and closely related to epidemic prevention and control. . "

The reporter noticed that at present, some streets in Tianjin, Guangxi, Yunnan and other places implement code scanning in and out. Residents need to scan the QR code to enter the small program for verification and registration.

"Collecting personal information during the registration and code scanning process must follow certain principles." Wu Xuhua explained, "During the collection process, the purpose, storage, and use methods of collecting personal information should be fully and fully informed. Personal information is collected for epidemic reasons. There may be some shortcomings in certain links in the process, and it is necessary to do remedial work on the storage and use of personal information collected this time, and relevant government functional departments will take corresponding measures to comprehensively protect personal information. "

"It is very important in this process to prevent the leakage of personal information." Wu Xuhua reminded, "it is necessary to take technical confidentiality measures or desensitization of the personal information that has been collected to prevent theft and use by criminals."

The third question is how to balance the right to privacy and the right to know?

The reporter learned that the names of infected patients' communities have been published as measures to prevent and control the epidemic. In some places, patient information was announced, even down to building units and house numbers. There are also owners who, on the grounds of the right to know, asked the property to publish Hubei people's information and were rejected by the property.

In the context of a public health emergency, does it mean that certain privacy has to be surrendered?

"In extraordinary times, there are certain restrictions on individual privacy rights, and legal basis can be found in China and other countries." At the same time, Wang Xu pointed out, "This kind of restriction is not endless, it cannot detract from the core value of citizens, and it cannot be done without proper reasons Make citizens "transparent" and even receive undesired negative comments. "

Regarding how to balance personal privacy and citizens' right to know when dealing with public emergencies, Wang Xu told reporters, "This requires law enforcement departments to master the 'degree' in specific law enforcement, and the scope of information disclosure must be for direct service of epidemic prevention." . "

The reporter noticed that in the current epidemic information released by authoritative departments in various places, while the patient's action trajectory was disclosed in a timely manner, the personal sensitive information part was blurred to a certain extent. Interviewed legal persons believe that this has been well regulated compared to the streaking of many patient information in the early days of the outbreak.

On February 24, the Ministry of Justice issued an opinion requesting that epidemic prevention and control measures be adapted to the nature, extent, and scope of the social harm that the epidemic may cause, and minimize the damage to citizens' rights and interests.

In this regard, Wang Xu suggested that some such specific guidance could be provided. "At present, both the legislation and the design of the basic system, the key lies in the local, especially the grass-roots level, when it comes to specific law enforcement, it must combine its actual situation and regulate law enforcement in the spirit of the rule of law." Wang Xu said. Our reporter Lu Yue

Source: chinanews

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