Forensic Camera Systems and Small Print – What A Sexual Assault Nurse Should Know - Part 1

Sexual Assault Nurses and Everyone Else Should Always Read  the Fine Print
A couple of years back, Forbes conducted a study to find out exactly how many people read the small print when making purchases on e-commerce sites.

Would you like to venture a guess?

Can’t stand the suspense? Well, the answer is…

Less than ONE person in 1,000! That’s one-tenth of one percent, which isn’t a lot.

Those who do make it to the small print, terms of service, user agreements, etc. usually only stay on the webpage that contains the small print for about 29 seconds, at the most, before moving up and out. As we all know, small print is a dirty fact of life, and it exists not just on e-commerce sites, but on nearly everything, from getting cable TV, to a mortgage, to renting an apartment, to buying a hot tub…you get the picture (and yes, there’s usually small print on ‘the picture’, too!).

James Gibson, Professor of Law at The University of Richmond, puts in his two cents about contracts. He told the New York Times, “For one thing, most contracts are crazy-long. For instance, one study analyzed four major software sellers’ contracts and found that they were an average of 74,000-plus words, which is basically the length of the first Harry Potter book. So we don’t read it because it’s impossibly long, and it certainly doesn’t read like a J.K. Rowling novel, even if it is the same length.”

Small print in contracts is lengthy and mainly exists to protect a company (mostly legally) in every possible situation. Your average Joe, let alone a sexaul assault nurse, feels intimidated by small print, because he doesn’t understand all the legalese. Most of the rest of us don’t, either.

Let’s now look at an everyday example: not reading the small print of a user agreement for the cell phone app of a forensic camera system. In our haste to download an app to our phone that we anticipate will be fun, exciting or useful, we oftentimes skip reading the user agreement or we quickly hit the ‘Agree’ button, and move forward.

At this point in time, it is wise to mention that sexual assault nurses who capture information with a cell phone forensic camera system will oftentimes have to download forensic apps to utilize their forensic camera. Because money has been invested – whatever the amount – in a cell phone forensic camera get-up, sexual assault nurses will usually just rush through the user agreements of these phone apps. Most users will blindly trust the new forensic camera system, therefore thinking they are exempt from reading the small print in a user’s agreement; this is twisted logic. All small print that you will ultimately agree (or disagree) to, MUST be read.

You may or may not have ever realized that many apps – before you even install them on your forensic camera cell phone or other mobile device – commonly will let you know that they will need access to:

- Your location
- Your photos/media/files
- Your camera
- Your microphone
- Your Bluetooth connection information
- And the list goes on and on.

In Part Two of this article, we will examine in greater detail the small print from those companies who tout cell-phone, forensic camera evidence capturing. We’ll discover the reality of actually how “secure” sexual assault nurses’ protected health information is…or in more cases, isn’t.

I’ll leave you with this thought: if you use a forensic camera cell phone app to capture patient information, and you have agreed to allow that app access to access all types of data on your phone, then how can your patients’ Protected Health Information be…well…”Protected”?

Check out SDFI’s secure, forensic camera system solutions – we are "Secure Beyond Reasonable Doubt"!

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