UO changed privacy policy after GC grabbed counseling records

Not exactly news, but InsideHigherEd.com has a good summary of the incident here:

… In a statement, Frances Bronet, senior vice president and provost at Oregon, said that the university’s lawyers scanned and preserved the records but did not actually read them before returning them to the health center. “I urge UO students to use our counseling and mental health services without fear that their counseling records will be disclosed to other parties or UO departments,” Bronet stated.

The university’s confidentiality and privacy policy states that there are a number of exceptions to keeping a student’s records private. Those include if the student provides a written release saying information can be released; if there is an “imminent danger” to the student or others; and if a court orders the records released. According to a 2014 version of the policy available through the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, a court order was the only allowable exception related to legal action, and one was not made here.

But that policy has since changed. It now specifically states that an exception to confidentially can be made when a student’s “emotional condition is being used as a claim or defense in a legal situation.”

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One Response to UO changed privacy policy after GC grabbed counseling records

  1. just different says:

    From Inside Higher Ed:
    “While spirited debate can engage the question of what the law allows, ethics must govern the question of what colleges and universities should do,” the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management said in a statement. “Higher education insists that it is a bastion of the moral high ground. So, it must be. Victims need to know we are here for them.”

    Too bad Doug Park didn’t put that in his cover letter.