James K. was a radiologist in New York. He worked for NRAD Medical Associates, and he stole the files of almost 100,000 patients.
He was charged with unauthorized use of a computer, larceny, and unlawful duplication of computer material.
According to the NY prosecutor…
“Physicians are regularly entrusted with the health and well-being of their patients, so the abuse of trust, in this case, is particularly outrageous.”
In four months, James accessed the medical practices computer system and copied the health information of nearly 100,000 patients.
A search of his home computer hard drive revealed the patient records. James also had the company’s credit card and IT information.
After the medical group learned about the security breach, they sent a letter to each of the patients.
It wasn’t immediately known what James did with the personal data or if it had been compromised.
Now, having your data stolen is scary enough. But having your medical files stolen at the same time is terrifying.
These days, more people are turning to telemedicine than ever before.
While there are plenty of benefits to visiting a doctor online, there are security risks that come with it.
In fact, here are a few of the security risks to keep in mind when using telemedicine.
Depending on the medical provider they might use Zoom, an app, or even a phone call to conduct the visit.
These can all be (and likely are) recorded. When you call to start the visit, they might say that you are talking on a recorded line.
The recording is done so they can go back and add notes to your medical file. (And so, they have a record in case anyone tries to sue them.)
But if you are discussing sensitive medical issues, you might not want there to be a recording of the entire visit.
If you need help with a medical or mental health issue, then you want to tell the doctor everything.
Again, these are things a doctor would probably write down in your file.
But if the wrong person accesses your telehealth visit it could lead to unintended consequences.
There is more confidentiality when it’s just you and a doctor in the room talking one on one.
As soon as you introduce technology there is always the chance that something is compromised online.
We know that websites and apps track what we do online. Many telemedicine websites collect and share information with third parties for advertising purposes.
Even worse, some websites send user data to Facebook and Google to track the user’s online behavior.
You could be targeted by condition. Or flagged somewhere down the line in some system because a computer said you had some malady.
You could have a lot to lose if your employer or family found out about a health condition that you weren’t ready to share with them.
Unfortunately, this is just one way that your personal information is being siphoned off and used against you.
Between hackers, thieves, Big Tech, a weaponized Federal Government, and non-state bad actors, trying to hold on to your privacy is like tap dancing through a minefield.