Use, transmission, and storage of electronic data
Confidentiality issues surrounding electronic data are addressed in the by the Data Protection Act (1998). This regulates the processing of information ('data' - electronic or not) including its collection, storage, and disclosure that could result in an individual's identification5.

In order to protect the confidentiality of patients in the electronic environment, the GMC has listed some recommendations.

To ensure the protection of confidentiality in an electronic environment the General Medical Council (GMC) recommends that doctors should:

  • Make appropriate security arrangements for the storage and transmission of personal information.
  • Obtain and record professional advice given prior to connecting to a network.
  • Ensure that all equipment, such as computers, are in a secure area.
  • Be aware that e-mails can be intercepted.