Q & A – What are some of the privacy issues regarding personnel files stored electronically?

Q: What are some of the privacy issues regarding personnel files stored electronically?

A: The issues concerning the privacy of personnel files retained electronically are basically the same as with written copies. Medical and other confidential types of files should be maintained separately from the employee’s “regular” personnel file. Employers must insure medical files are assessable only by those with a need to know such as HR or a designated Privacy Officer. Employers should consult their IT departments to make sure adequate “firewalls” are in place.

Some helpful websites that deal with privacy and other technology issues are:
• Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) http://www.epic.org/
• IHRIM Data Protection and Privacy Committee: http://www.ihrim.org/
• Privacy & American Business: http://www.pandab.org/
• Privacy Exchange: http://www.privacyexchange.org/
• European Commission for Data Protection: http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/move.htm
• Privacy Exchange: http://www.privacyexchange.org/
• European Commission for Data Protection: http://europa.eu.int/comm/internal_market/move.htm