Conversational Privacy

Written by Seth Cotterell
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If you're just chatting with your old buddy on the street, conversational privacy is probably not foremost on your mind. Idle chit chat isn't all that sensitive or important, so you don't ever really think twice about who might be listening or why. But there are a lot of instances where conversational privacy is important, or at least it should be to you if it's not already.

Guaranteeing Conversational Privacy

Conversational privacy could be important for lots of reasons. A teenager talking about his new girlfriend or boyfriend to a confidant might not want siblings overhearing, or the situation could be a lot more sensitive than that. The situation could be one requiring extreme confidentiality and in some settings federal law mandates adhering to rules of conversational privacy.

HIPAA requirements, referred to commonly as the privacy rule, were signed into law in 2003. These requirements set forth strict guidelines pertaining to protecting conversational privacy in the health care field. HIPAA privacy rules state that doctor patient confidentiality applies to verbal communication the same as it does to written information. Doctors must make a concerted effort to ensure that privileged conversations are not overheard accidentally or intentionally. Penalties for failure to comply with conversational privacy rules are severe.

Businesses and the military must also follow these federal guidelines to protect sensitive information transmitted orally from falling into the wrong hands. Many of these organizations are turning to white noise sound masking systems to protect client privacy and to meet federal requirements pertaining to conversational privacy in health care and in business settings.

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