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crywolf2010

Breaking A Customer's/Client's Privacy? How Serious?

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I just gota question that I've been thinking about for some time. People who work in jobs that have access to people's personal details such as birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and other crap. I'm not trying to be paranoid but if that worker for example in a phone shop gave away your address to another person or other people and they hassle you and god knows what else people can do with your date of birth if it falls into the wrong hands, what would happen to that worker?

Are we talking jail time? How serious does the employer take it?

Edited by crywolf2010

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Most employers take it very seriously; we're talking getting fired. As for jail time, it depends on the job, whether or not there are privacy laws regulated.

Medical stuff all has HIPAA. Banking is heavily regulated.

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From the banking side of things, I don't think a bank employee could face jail time unless he or she used the information for fraudulent purposes. They'd most definitely lose their job and all hopes of ever working in the finance industry again, though.

Typically stuff like that is covered under a company's "business ethics" or whatever. Any breech of those ethics gets your ass canned without debate. And then, when you go try to find another job, well, if they do any background digging, you'll still be in the unemployment line.

Even when I worked in my uni's library, they had a zero-tolerance policy for taking patron information from the computer systems.

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Yeah, I have to say, pretty much everywhere I've worked at that involves personal customer's information is very protective of that info not getting out for nefarious purposes. Or anywhere. Companies really take that kind of thing seriously. It makes sense from a business-ownership perspective to be VERY protective of your customer's sensitive information, if you were known to give it out or allow your employees to do so, you could stand to lose a fair amount of business due to lack of trust.

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I volunteer at the check-out desk at our library and we aren't supposed to look at a patron record unless that person is right there, checking out books. The librarian tells us all the time to protect the privacy of our patrons. Our paid clerks would definitely get fired if they did anything with personal information, and they would never get a job reference.

olga

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Most people who handle private and confidential info would get fired, and in some cases, might face a criminal charge depending on what they tried to use the client info for. I've worked in a bank for 4 years, and one staff member was fired after it was discovered that he had been printing off client (and staff) profiles, and phoning them to try to sell them something to do with his second job (pyramid scheme, anyone?). However, no charges were filed to my knowledge.

BUT I know of another former employee who was going through a nasty divorce and custody battle, and she accessed her soon-to-be-ex's financial records through the bank database and provided them to her lawyer to try to get a higher child support payment, and she was fired and charges were laid as well, but with no talk of jail time. It really depends on the individual situation, the sensitivity of information that was mishandled, and the staff who respond to it, as well as HR's recommendations.

I've been in the industry for a while though, and 99.9% of employees take privacy and confidentiality very seriously and act with discretion. It's the same thing in most industries that handle sensitive information. Unfortunately we only ever hear about the ones who screw things up for the rest of us.

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I used to work at call centers and dealt with credit cards, personal information, social insurance numbers, addressess, etc. If you were even caught with a pen and a pad even if it was for a completely different reason, you'd be in deep deep shit. as in, the police come and haul your ass to jail for fraud. So I wouldn't worry too much about that.

Also unless your a sociopath there isn't much insentive to take the chance.

Your personal information is 99% safe if not more.

Edited by Benzoman

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Guest Vapourware

Confidentiality is very important for businesses and government departments that handle a person's private information. If a person is found to be accessing private information for their own purposes or passing confidential information on, they will most likely lose their job. Depending on the jurisdiction and what they did with the information, they may also face criminal charges.

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I'm another library person. We can't even give the patron her own library card number if she has no photo ID.

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Yeah I only handle credit cards at my current job, but due to the nature of the store (adult store) I keep an eye out for people taking photos. It's a common thing for people to attempt, say if they're showing their partner something to ask what they think, but the risk of catching someone else on camera is too high & we just prevent everyone from doing it since that is considered a huge invasion of privacy in my type of store.

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I just gota question that I've been thinking about for some time. People who work in jobs that have access to people's personal details such as birthdates, addresses, phone numbers and other crap. I'm not trying to be paranoid but if that worker for example in a phone shop gave away your address to another person or other people and they hassle you and god knows what else people can do with your date of birth if it falls into the wrong hands, what would happen to that worker?

Are we talking jail time? How serious does the employer take it?

I work in a PCT (Primary Care Trust) in a booking office. Basically we get patient referrals from GPs and we book hospital appointments. Here I have access to patient confidential information, their address and their medical history. I would get sacked and perhaps have legal action taken against me if I disclosed personal information like that to anyone, whether it be friends or relatives.

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I'm a volunteer at a crisis center and breach of confidentiality is serious enough to result in legal consequences. It was that way when I was doing my clinicals in a nursing home at the beginning of the month, too. When I worked for a gas station, we had to sign confidentiality agreements because we worked around a lot of personal information, like credit card numbers, licenses, etc.

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