August 18, 2014
Information Technology Acts Paper
There have been many advances in technology that have caused ethical complications, resulting in numerous electronic acts to be established. Two of the acts resulting from electronic issues are Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 and No Electronic Theft Act (NET) of 1997. Technological advances have done wonders for today’s society, but having all information at the push of a button can cause many problems as well. HIPAA protects patient health information from being accessed by the general public, and the NET act gives consequences for anyone violating copyright laws.
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
HIPAA has two main parts, the Portability regarding Health Insurances, and the Accountability regarding patient health information. Focusing on the accountability portion dealing with patient health information there are a few rules; Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification. The privacy rule protects the privacy of personally identifiable health information, the security rule sets standards for the means in which electronic medical records are secured, and the breach notification rule requires any unsecured medical records or breach of confidentiality to be reported appropriately ("Health Information Privacy", 2014).
Current advances in technology have made these rules and act necessary. Private information is not safe in an unsecured server with internet search engines so easily accessed. For example, this year, New York and Presbyterian Hospital with Columbia University were penalized for failing to secure electronic patient health information properly. Therefore, patient health information was accessible online and discovered by a relative of a patient. The breach resulted in the hospitals paying a total $4.8 million settlement combined ("News", 2014).
No Electronic Theft (NET) Act
People have been illegally downloading and sharing media for some time, from copying mix cassette tapes off of the radio to the uncountable digital downloads available online today. “NET makes it a federal crime to reproduce, distribute, or share copies of electronic copyrighted media with a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $2.5 thousand fine” ("What Is The No Electronic Theft Act?", 2014). The first criminal copyright conviction case was in August of 1999 against Mr. Jeffrey Levy, who plead guilty to allowing the general public to download computer software, music, movies, and other media from his website ("#371:08-20-99", 1999).
This act is necessary as the damage caused by piracy has grown substantially over the years with the technology