Aims and objectives

This module will:

  • explain eProfessionalism and how it will help you in the workplace
  • help you understand the difference between eProfessionalism and professionalism
  • explore the different facets of being an eProfessional
  • explore some of the legal, ethical and organisational constraints to recording and sharing images.

After completing this module, you will be able to:

  • know what is meant by eProfessionalism
  • build your online presence as an eProfessional
  • understand the legal, ethical and organisational rules around image-sharing.

7. Confidentiality

Confidentiality covers both information and people.

Sensitive information

Information may have confidentiality requirements based on the type of information it is, or because it concerns a member of a vulnerable group.

In Australia, the following types of information may have confidentiality requirements:

  • Information provided in professional confidence (i.e. for instance, your lawyer)
  • health-related information
  • commercial-in-confidence information.

Information concerning a member of a vulnerable group may also have confidentiality requirements:

  • Children (including children in the foster care system)
  • Adults who cannot legally grant consent
  • Indigenous people.

One example of a vulnerable group is children in out-of-home care. In 2021, there were about 46,200 children in out-of-home care in Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Child protection Australia 2020–21). Children in the out-of-home care system have a right to privacy under the Child Protection Act 1999 (Qld), including a right not to be identified as a child in contact with the child protection system. In situations where a safety risk has been identified, images that could expose the child's location should not be shared.

Commercial confidentiality

A company may consider certain information to be commercial-in-confidence , including:

  • intellectual property owned by the company
  • trade secrets
  • past successful tenders
  • operational information
  • any information that the unauthorised disclosure of which could give rise to a breach of confidentiality action.

Commercial confidentiality may be protected by contractual agreements between parties, particularly when information is being shared outside of the organisation, but this may not always be the case. A company’s employees have an obligation to protect commercial confidentiality.

Professional confidentiality

Many professional bodies outline a professional duty of confidentiality where privacy covering contacts or patients is required such as:

  • Doctors
  • Physicians
  • Nurses and midwives
  • Physiotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational Therapists.

Read more in the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency's social media policy.

Duration:   Approximately 35 minutes

Graduate attributes

Knowledge and skills you can gain to contribute to your Graduate attributes:

 Effective communication Effective communication

 Critical judgement

  Ethical and social understanding

Check your knowledge

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