Doctors have to face the music on the net

Doctor laptop pc reservationsDoctor performing point and tell. Photo: rawpixel / Unsplash

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Doctors cannot make reservations against online publicity

The Norwegian Privacy Board has concluded that health personnel cannot make reservations against being evaluated at Legelisten.no.

The Privacy Board disagrees with that the website must introduce a general right to make reservations against being evaluated online. They believe that freedom of information is more important than privacy rights in this case. There is, however, a possibility for individual exemptions.

Those who write an assessment on the website must also post using their email address, the Board concludes.

Legelisten.no is a site where patients can provide assessments of healthcare professionals, such as general practitioners and dentists. Several doctors and the like want to make reservations from such assessments. They point to that unpopular medical decisions can lead to negative publicity on the portal.

Data Inspectorate

The Norwegian Data Inspectorate considered the case first. They concluded that several measures have to be implemented to safeguard the privacy of health personnel. They assessed that health professionals should be able to choose whether they could be evaluated or not.

The Data Inspectorate also emphasised that the website had to ensure that the information was updated and correct at all times.

The Data Protection Board, which is the appeal body for decisions made by the Data Inspectorate, has concluded that the website does not enjoy special protection. They must, therefore, comply with the entire Personal Data Act.

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