At Health Care IT News, Diana Manos explores Snowden's impact on EMR (Electronic Medical Records).
"The NSA justifies its actions using the war on terror," Peel added. "The Department of Health and Human Services claims its actions are justified to lower healthcare costs. These are obviously very different agencies collecting different kinds of very sensitive personal information, but both set up hidden, extremely intrusive surveillance systems that violate privacy rights and destroy trust in government."
"The benefits of technology can be reaped in all sectors of our economy without the harms if we restore/update our laws to assure privacy of personally identifiable information in electronic systems. Our ethics, principles, and fundamental rights should be applied to the uses of technology," Peel says.
David Kotz, associate dean of faculty for the sciences and professor of computer science at Dartmouth College, says the Snowden incident could also happen in healthcare... "It's certainly conceivable that a technically savvy person, intent on snooping into individual health records, leaking them to unauthorized groups, or mining them for medical identity theft (a growing problem), might seek employment in an organization that provides healthcare (such as a major hospital) or in an organization that supports healthcare (such as billing-support agency or an insurance provider) simply to get 'insider' access to those records and then mis-use that access for nefarious purposes..."
Frankly, I'd worry about the threat of an authoritarian government misusing the data more than an insider or other malicious private actor.
Under Obama, the IRS, the EPA, HHS, the DOJ, and scores of other departments, offices and agencies of the unelected fourth branch of government -- the massive administrative state -- have been caught targeting the political opposition.
It is a certainty that our private health care records will be exposed to unscrupulous parties and used to punish Obama's political opponents.
Which is why, for starters, we should only support candidates who will defund the IRS and institute a flat tax or the Fair Tax. Nuke the budget of the IRS: it's the only way to be sure.
Hat tip: BadBlue Tech News Portal.