TX: Agency discovers private patient information on Internet

Melissa McEver reports in the Brownsville Herald: All it took was a quick Internet search to yield private medical information on more than two dozen Rio Grande Valley children. Until Thursday, the Web site of a children’s rehabilitation clinic had a link to spreadsheets containing the full names, phone numbers and insurance status of...

Privacy and Public Health at Risk: Public Health Confidentiality in the Digital Age

By Myers, Julie Frieden, Thomas R; Bherwani, Kamal M; Henning, Kelly J: Public health agencies increasingly use electronic means to acquire, use, maintain, and store personal health information. Electronic data formats can improve performance of core public health functions, but potentially threaten privacy because they can be easily duplicated and transmitted to unauthorized people....

Medical privacy still isn't protected (Letter to the Editor)

Seen in the The Baltimore Sun: The Sun‘s article on the Senate’s vote to bar discrimination based on the results of genetic testing (“Measure would bar use of information by insurers, employers,” April 25) failed to address the key problem with personal medical information in America: Why do insurers, employers and others have access...

When UPMC wrist ID tells too much

Steve Twedt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports: Linda Berkley of Braddock was playing with her granddaughter Saturday evening when the infant grabbed the identification bracelet Mrs. Berkley had received earlier in the day at the UPMC Braddock emergency room. As she pulled her arm away, Mrs. Berkley glanced at the bracelet and was horrified...

UCSF waited six months before telling patients of data breach

Elizabeth Fernandez of the San Francisco Chronicle reports: Information on thousands of UCSF patients was accessible on the Internet for more than three months last year, a possible violation of federal privacy regulations that might have exposed the patients to medical-identity theft, The Chronicle has learned. The information accessible online included names and addresses...

Oops: a breach notification revealed too much

When Drexel University College of Medicine experienced a breach due to the theft of a computer, they notified states attorney general as required by various state laws. But because only one resident of Maryland was affected by the breach, Drexel included a copy of the notification letter to the patient when they notified the...

Ie: Outrage as patient files unearthed

Fury and concern were today expressed by doctors and medical groups that confidential medical records were dumped and ended up lying in a field. Medical files containing sensitive information were discovered in a former landfill near the Elm Tree bar in Glounthaune —being excavated for the Cork-Midleton rail line — by a local woman...

Audit: NJ lacks computer security for personal Medicaid data

Tom Hester, Jr. reports: New Jersey has not monitored access to key personal information in a computer system that tracks care for the poor, leaving no way to know if Social Security numbers and other information about doctors and patients have been misused, a recent state audit found. The analysis determined that the state...

NY: 88,000 patients at risk after computer theft

Glenn Nyback reports in the Staten Island Advance: Computer equipment stolen from an administrative office in Rosebank in December contained personal information about 88,000 patients who have been treated at Staten Island University Hospital. After four months with no arrests, hospital administrators are just now beginning the process of sending letters to patients whose...