When I think about privacy breaches that can really do harm, I often think of information about mental health issues or sexually transmitted diseases. If the allegations in a NY lawsuit are proven, this is one of those nightmare cases where there are devastating effects of a willful breach by an insider. Jonathan Perlow reports:
A man claims a nurse at the clinic where he was treated for a sexually transmitted disease sent “ridiculing and taunting” text messages about his disease to his girlfriend. The 22-year-old John Doe demands punitive damages from the Guthrie Healthcare System.
“While Mr. Doe was waiting to be seen and during his appointment, Ms. Stalbird over the course of two hours sent at least six unauthorized, ridiculing and taunting text messages via cell phone regarding Mr. Doe’s sexually transmitted disease and confidential personal health information to Mr. Doe’s girlfriend, Jessica,” the complaint states.
“As Mr. Doe’s girlfriend received the messages from Ms. Stalbird, she forwarded via cell phone the messages to Mr. Doe’s cell phone while he was waiting for and during his appointment,” the complaint states. “Mr. Doe was understandably mortified that a nurse at the clinic was broadcasting his personal health information outside the clinic.”
As a result, Doe says, word about his STD has spread throughout his hometown of Corning, “exposing him to widespread derision and deep personal embarrassment.”
Read more on Courthouse News.