Privacy in the digital age: Implications for clinical practice

Aaron Drummond, Paul Cromarty, Malcolm Battersby

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    In 2012, privacy breaches exposed the confidential health data of 22.5 million U.S. citizens. Ensuring clients' privacy is essential in clinical psychology, and a task that has become increasingly complex as technology has evolved. Many current professional guidelines for clinical practice do not consider issues pertaining to potential privacy breaches from sources such as human error, malicious acts, metadata, and surveillance (e.g., APA, 2007,; APS, 2013,; BPS, 2011, We review potential sources of privacy breaches arising from electronic storage and communications use. We conclude with best practice recommendations regarding electronic storage and communication, software choices, and spyware removal designed to minimize privacy risk in mental health care. These recommendations need to be regularly reviewed to continue to minimize the risk of privacy-related breaches in the context of ongoing technological development.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)227-237
    Number of pages11
    JournalClinical Psychology: Science and Practice
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


    • Best practice
    • Encryption
    • Mental health care
    • Privacy

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