What’s your relationship with privacy? Um, it’s complicated.
By Jodi Sperber (@)
Last year, I sat in the audience at a MedX panel, listening intently to a conversation about communicating the experience of illness in the digital age. This session, captured succinctly on Storify, touched upon a broad range of topics, from disclosure to ethics to the need for “radical hospitality” (in quotes just because I love that as a phrase) to build community. Several individuals raised the notion of privacy and its significance, and at the very end of the session I stood at the mic to underscore the notion that privacy was less about keeping something secret and more about the control of information flow (here is one of my favorite posts on this topic). I suggested that the topic of reframing privacy was a topic for ongoing discussion within the MedX community.
Little did I know at that moment that this would be a panel the following year. Or that I would be on it.
And that’s the beauty of MedX: It’s never the end of a session. It’s the beginning of a conversation.
MedX aims to breaks down artificial barriers between Us and Them, Panelists and Attendees, Patients and Professionals. A culture has been nurtured that invites participation from everyone, whether or not you are in the physical space at the time it is taking place. So much so that even introverts like me are eager to take part.
This year’s panel started innocently (and fittingly) enough: with a tweet. From there it grew into a conversation on what privacy means to each of us, how it’s often hastily applied in many different contexts without consideration of whether there is alignment in how each party defines and interprets the concept. The term is used to drive and divert so many decisions in healthcare, but what do we mean when we use it?
Colleen, Wendy Sue, Susannah, Pam and I believe that this remains an area ripe for debate. We also know that MedX is the perfect space for this type of nuanced dialogue, as it draws a passionate crowd of doers and dreamers.
And by dialogue, I mean all of us. You, too. This is a part of what makes MedX great, and why I am so excited to be returning this year. The conference itself is only a few days, but the movement surrounding it continues indefinitely. In some ways the event feels like a homecoming for a family that I’ve been speaking with remotely throughout the year.
As with the last session, we’re excited to flip the panel and jump-start the conversation. This is just the first post in a series leading up to the panel itself, and we want to know what your thoughts are on the intersection of privacy of innovation. Here are some initial questions to consider:
- How do you define privacy?
- How do you apply it?
- When it comes to social media and other online spaces, have you resigned to give it up entirely?
In addition to blog posts and tweets, we are starting to create spaces to collect and share resources. All that we generate together will be our textbook; a dynamic and vibrant guide to help us shape how we shape programs, products, policy, and everyday interactions with regard to privacy.
We look forward to taking on the topic of privacy. Together. Join the discussion in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #medx.