You've Got Mail... And So Much More

There may never be a better time to check your email... There could be an e-card waiting for you, letting you know you have a sexually transmitted disease. But, those e-cards are causing some controversy over your privacy rights. You've got mail... and so much more. If you see an e-card from

in your inbox, you could have an STD. The website allows you to anonymously send cards to your past and present sexual partners, if you think you gave them an STD. Not telling them could cost you, says attorney Jesse Quackenbush. "You could be held criminally responsible under our penal code for assault and civilly our negligence statutes for communicating some type of disease. " The fact that message could be in your inbox makes Planned Parenthood nervous. Claudia Stravator says, "Anyone can go into your email. Your administrator of the system where you work can go into your email and see who you are sending to and who you are receiving from." They believe these cards violate your privacy rights. "We feel that it's not HIPAA proof, that it does not meet HIPAA standards for privacy." But Quackenbush says you give up your right to privacy when you spread life threatening diseases. "If you file a law suit against another person for communicating a disease to them either negligally or intentionally they in essence would be letting the whole world know in the form of a public law suit that couldn't be prevented and certainly wouldn't be held in violation of any privacy laws." Planned Parenthood stresses the importance of telling partners about your std, but says it should be done face to face, not with an e-card.