Interpreters adhere to a Code of Professional Conduct (CPC) upheld by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) with the first tenet focusing on confidentiality. This tenet notes that interpreters must protect consumers’ privacy and that any content information discussed between all parties must not be shared.
Professional interpreters are expected to adhere to the CPC tenets and integrate them into practice. RID has a process for consumers to report any ethical concerns or breach of confidentiality by RID certified interpreters.
FERPA and HIPAA Concerns
There is a common misconception that interpreters pose a risk to violating the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws.
To help dispel these myths, consider the following:
Are service providers held accountable to keeping class information, activities, and fieldwork experiences confidential?
Third-party service providers that are “acting for the agency or institution” have a responsibility to maintain the privacy of education records of all consumers in accordance with FERPA.
If a deaf medical student utilizes an interpreter or speech-to-text provider, does it impact HIPAA’s patient privacy rule?
Whether remote, in-person, or via telecommunications relay service (TRS), interpreters “may use and disclose protected health information for treatment, payment and health care operations without an individual’s authorization.”