This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the concepts of privacy and confidentiality, and how they represent an increasingly challenging area of policy and practice where technological development, civil liberties, surveillance, health, and welfare become inextricably intertwined. An overview of the subsequent chapters is then presented. This is followed by a discussion of how to redefine the ethic of confidentiality in a way that conserves the core of human rights and privacy while addressing the widely agreed need to better share information for the benefit of individual clients, their kin, and society as a whole.
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