Maintaining Privacy In A Digital World

01 Sep 2016

Nerissa Ferrie

by Ms Nerissa Ferrie

Online networking

Have you ever wondered how the shoes you Googled two weeks ago suddenly make an appearance in a prominent ad on a news site you are browsing? Or why you receive multiple LinkedIn requests from people you barely know?

A recent article highlights just how easily the same social media data-matching technology can unknowingly breach your professional duty of privacy and confidentiality by linking your patients to each other, without your knowledge.

Welcome to the minefield of big data, mass collection and targeted advertising.

Gone are the days when making your Facebook page private was enough to protect your privacy. Most social media sites rely on advertising to fund the platform and allow users free access. The more data you provide, the happier they are.

Take some time to understand the personal technology you use, and how data mining might impact your privacy, and the privacy of your patients.


This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters.



Doctors Let's Talk: Get Yourself A Fricking GP

Get yourself a fricking GP stat! is a conversation with Dr Lam, 2019 RACGP National General Practitioner of the Year, rural GP and GP Anesthetics trainee, that explores the importance of finding your own GP as a Junior Doctor.


25 Oct 2022

Systematic efforts to reduce harms due to prescribed opioids – webinar recording

Efforts are underway across the healthcare system to reduce harms caused by pharmaceutical opioids. This 43-min recording of a live webinar, delivered 11 March 2021, is an opportunity for prescribers to check, and potentially improve, their contribution to these endeavours. Hear from an expert panel about recent opioid reforms by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. 

Diplomacy in a hierarchy: tips for approaching a difficult conversation

Have you found yourself wondering how to broach a tough topic of conversation? It can be challenging to effectively navigate a disagreement with a co-worker, especially if they're 'above' you; however, it's vital for positive team dynamics and safe patient care. In this recording of a live webinar you'll have the opportunity to learn from colleagues' experiences around difficult discussions and hear from a diverse panel moderated by Dr Kiely Kim (medico-legal adviser and general practitioner). Recorded live on 2 September 2020.