Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monitor or surveillance in Minnesota licensed facilities?

The Star Tribune article called "Granny Cams" which appeared yesterday caught my attention.  It is the constant conflict with technology and privacy that is the heart of the story.  Cameras that are designed so small to be used to prevent harm to others who are vulnerable.  Sounds like a good idea.  It is not so easy to implement though.

As Roberta Opheim, State Ombudsman for mental health and developmental disabilities recognized by her statement in the story, individuals who are vulnerable have liberty and privacy interests. There must be recognition of self autonomy.

Do not be in the rush to fancy all nursing homes, foster care places, and other licensed facilities with the latest equipment to monitor the employees and the people who live in them, particularly in their "living space" or their home without thorough public discussion.

In 2007, when authorizing language was done for the limited purposes of the foster care homes who did not want an employee for overnight purposes it was done in a very not public way.  There were amendments to the authorizing language in 2009 (245A .11 sub 7a Article 1--Section 4) which can give a framework for the Legislature to guide itself and the State if we wish to expand the use of technology to monitor or do surveillance

I would prefer "monitor" then "surveillance."  The actions, intentions, and purposes are quite different from each other..

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