The vertical axis of Hodges' model is the individual - group, or self through to collective. Health and social care constantly negotiates this from the ideals and delivery of person-centred care to public mental health. So often for health professionals the emphasis is on the individual, the person's care needs, their strengths, their rights, outcomes and feedback on care received. The same individual focus is also ascribed to records and information. Protection of data, maintaining confidentiality is an essential duty of health care professionals.
Earlier this year the government's care.data scheme was placed on hold. 'Open' is the way of the world: open access, open source, open data and open government. Increasingly the group as an entity needs to considered in what may be a new way, as Floridi writes:
The idea that groups may have a right to privacy is not new, and it is open to debate, but it has not yet received all the attention it deserves, although it is becoming increasingly important.
Open data is more likely to treat types (of customers, users, citizens, demographics population, etc.) rather than tokens (you, Alice, me), and hence groups rather than individuals. But re-identifiable groups are ipso facto targetable groups.It is therefore a very dangerous fallacy to think that, if we protect personal data that identify individuals, the protection of the groups will take care of itself. p.23.
Luciano Floridi. Group Privacy. The Philosophers' Magazine. Issue 65, 2nd Quarter 2014. Pages 22-23.
Here is a related book (on my list) a BMJ award winner:
The Private Life, Josh Cohen
The war over private life spreads inexorably. Some seek to expose, invade and steal it, others to protect, conceal and withhold it. Either way, the assumption is that privacy is a possession to be won or lost.
But what if what we call private life is the one element in us that we can't possess? Could it be that we're so intent on taking hold of the privacy of others, or keeping hold of our own only because we're powerless to do either? ...