EXCLUSIVE: Bay Sleep Clinic patients were viewable online during sleep studies
Bay Sleep Clinic (BSC) has more than one dozen locations in California offering sleep medicine diagnostic services. Their site advertises that BSC:
Provides monitoring during a complete sleep cycle in our fully equipped, comfortable setting.
That monitoring appears to include video monitoring of their patients who, after being wired up to monitors, attempt to sleep in one of their rooms. Unfortunately, the video monitoring was viewable by anyone and everyone because BSC (or whoever was responsible for securing the system) did not properly secure one of its Axis cameras. As a result, anyone could view one of their rooms on insecam.org.
Yesterday morning, DataBreaches.net was contacted by an individual who had discovered the problem but did not want to get involved in making any notification. After verifying his report that there was a problem and that the IP address belonged to BSC, DataBreaches.net called BSC, but was only able to leave a message in their general voicemail system. Getting no response after several hours, DataBreaches.net called again, playing voicemail lottery to try to get any person who might connect me with their HIPAA privacy officer. Sadly, that call, too, ultimately went to another voicemail box. Despite tagging the message as “urgent,” there was no call back.
This morning, DataBreaches.net sent an email to the clinic. That may have done the trick, as the cam is now no longer viewable publicly. DataBreaches.net has no information indicating whether any other cameras of theirs were, or are, also viewable online.
DataBreaches.net has yet to hear back from Bay Sleep Clinic, so we have no information as to how this happened, for how long patients were publicly viewable during their sleep studies, and whether BSC intends to notify its patients, the California Department of Public Health, and/or HHS.
This post will be updated if a response is received.
Update: DataBreaches.net received a call from BSC’s external counsel a little while ago. Unless they decide to give me a formal statement, I will not try to summarize my entire conversation with their counsel, other than to note that he suggested that it was inappropriate or unethical to upload patient images, even redacted ones. After giving it some thought, I decided to remove the redacted screenshots. My intention is to inform and to improve security for patient data, not to add to others’ woes.