Tag Archive | "privacy"

Infographic: The Cost of Healthcare Security Breaches

Infographic The Cost of Healthcare Security BreachesAn alarming new infographic created by Privacy Analytics and shared by HIT Consultant showcases just how costly the growing epidemic of healthcare security breaches has become.

“While the news frequently reports the number of data breaches in the health care industry, few may realize that the estimated cost for HIPAA breaches since 2009 has reached over 31 billion dollars,” the report notes.
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New Software Secures Patient Privacy

New Software Secures Patient PrivacyAccording to MIT Technology Review, a new software tool developed by computer scientists at the University of Illinois could give people more control over how their personal health information is shared between doctors and medical institutions and helps improve the security and privacy of health data.

Today, if you were to get care from a new doctor outside of your usual healthcare provider, you are essentially a blank slate to them unless you request your data. In this case your entire record becomes available to them, and many patients are wary of oversharing.

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Fitness Apps Not Committed To User Privacy

Fitness Apps Not Committed To User PrivacyAs many fitness app developers continue to look for ways to link their tracking capabilities to users’ health conditions, many concerns for user privacy naturally arise. While general and anonymous dietary and fitness habits may not be something that a typical individual will protest against being shared with others, the data these habits generate are of interest to many.

Aside from basic diet and exercise, many fitness apps track vital signs, gender, age, height and weight—the perfect information needed to successfully target users with an assortment of products and services.

The TOS of each fitness app varies, but users must check back frequently for changes and updates to privacy related amendments. An excellent example is the fitness app Moves. Originally their TOS stated that they would not share any user data with a third party, but it has now been revised to read as follows: “We may share information, including personally identifying information, with our affiliates.”

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FTC: Health and Fitness Apps Pose Privacy Risks

FTC Health and Fitness App Pose Privacy RisksLast week, the published findings of a new study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission exposed what the public is told may be substantial privacy risks associated with using a wide variety of health and fitness apps.

The FTC looked into a dozen such apps and discovered that they send users’ personal information to dozens of third parties – 76 in all.

“Who are these third parties and what kind of information are they receiving about our bodies?” commented Jah-Juin Ho, an attorney in the FTC’s Mobile Technology Unit, during a May 7th seminar on the “privacy of consumer-generated health data.”

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More People Willing to Share Private Health Information Online

More People Willing to Share Private Health Information OnlineRecent studies have revealed that more than 90% of people on social networks would be willing to discuss even serious health concerns with doctors over social media, especially if they were able to remain completely anonymous throughout the exchange. These findings highlight an exciting trend in the field of healthcare, namely, that people are actually opening up to the idea of using new technology and methods of communication to improve the healthcare industry.

The same number of people that would be willing to anonymously share their health information also said that they believed the information they shared would be useful to researchers, who are looking for meta data about a disease or to ascertain how effective certain treatments are.

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The Role of Privacy and Security Innovation

The Role of Privacy and Security InnovationThe desire to categorize and sort is a basic feature of our human brains.  Some of us are better at it than others. Ken Kleinberg of The Advisory Board Company is especially adept at clear categorization of mobile health/mobility categories.

In Ken’s presentation at the mHealth Summit event in Washington D.C. last week, he presented a simple summary categorization of all things mobility in the healthcare world.  I appreciated the structure and how it lends itself to discussing where mobility initiatives fit, and how a day in the life of a healthcare professional or a patient – can be touched by mobile services.

Ken says that what one may be doing with mobile healthcare can fit into one of five categories:

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Lawmakers Curious About How The IRS Protects E-Health Records

Lawmakers Curious About How The IRS Protects E-Health RecordsFollowing recent scandals pertaining to questionable if not illegal activities on the part of the Internal Revenue Service, this week members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee issued another inquiry to the IRS.

Specifically, the lawmakers want to know how the IRS handles “confidential electronic health information.”

This controversy stems back to a lawsuit regarding how the IRS obtained millions of health records in the state of California, according to iHealthBeat.

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