Sunday, August 21, 2011

Surprisingly, government-run health care system results in massive disclosure of personal health and identity data

Isn't government-run health care neat?

Until recently, medical files belonging to nearly 300,000 Californians sat unsecured on the Internet for the entire world to see.

There were insurance forms, Social Security numbers and doctors' notes. Among the files were summaries that spelled out, in painstaking detail, a trucker's crushed fingers, a maintenance worker's broken ribs and one man's bout with sexual dysfunction...

...Southern California Medical-Legal Consultants, which represents doctors and hospitals seeking payment from patients receiving workers' compensation, put the records on a website that it believed only employees could use, owner Joel Hecht says...

...The personal data was discovered by Aaron Titus, a researcher with Identity Finder who then alerted Hecht's firm and The Associated Press. He found it through Internet searches, a common tactic for finding private information posted on unsecured sites.

Say, I've got an idea! Let's put all Americans' most sensitive health records online and let the government run the system!

What could possibly go wrong?

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