Policy ForumPUBLIC HEALTH

Surveillance and Privacy

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Science  08 Dec 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5498, pp. 1898-1899
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5498.1898

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Summary

Surveillance is the radar of public health. It has provided the foundation for public health planning, intervention, and prevention. Important ethical issues regarding privacy--the extent to which name-based reporting violates the trust and assumptions made about how personal medical information will be treated--are raised by public health surveillance. This policy forum looks at the contexts of differing responses from the public health communities and general public to surveillance efforts.