The Safety of Healthcare Data is a Top Priority

by | Jun 28, 2019

Facebook privacy issues

There is no doubt that medical data and healthcare records are highly sensitive. However, recent events have shone light on this data not being secure enough. How can we prevent privacy risk but still allow researchers to benefit us all from our medical data?

Pressure builds to secure health care data

Due to recent healthcare data breaches, there has been a strong push toward the US federal government for increased personal medical information protections. Especially as more of the healthcare processes shift from on-paper to online, and as many of the data is turned into analytics for better patient care in the future, this is a booming concern.

For example, reporter Maggie Miller states that “one major recent data breach led to the personal information of 20 million customers of blood testing groups Quest Diagnostics, LabCorp and Opko Health being exposed”.

Currently, much of the momentum has been in efforts to urge law officials to focus on the sale and use of data amidst the social media space, however, in light of recent breaches, there has been much more attention geared towards the importance of securing health record and medical data.

Evidence That Consumers Are Now Putting Privacy Ahead Of Convenience: Gartner

Gartner researchers have discovered a considerable amount of consumers and employees, that do not consent to trading their data’s security, safety and peace-of-mind for more convenience. 

With that in mind, many companies and organizations are redefining their internal views of customer data.

Chris Howard, a distinguished research vice president at Gartner, states that “As a CIO, you have a mandate to maintain data protections on sensitive data about consumers, citizens and employees. This typically means putting someone in charge of a privacy management program, detecting and promptly reporting breaches, and ensuring that individuals have control of their data. This is a board-level issue, yet barely half of organizations have adequate controls in place” (Source).

Recently, at the Gartner IT Symposium in Toronto, he argued that companies must be able to change their practices and become more adaptive to privacy-related demands. Gartner calls this the ‘ContinuousNext’ approach, and they hope it will build momentum through digital transformation and beyond. 

The steady erosion of privacy at home 

Most public areas are under the watch of AI cameras, cellphone companies, and advertisers that watch your every move. 

All these internet connected gadgets-smart assistants, internet-connected light bulbs, video doorbells, Wi-Fi thermostats, you name it, and they’re watching you. 

The problem: These devices learn to pick up your voice, interests, habits, TV preferences, meals, times home and away, and all other types sensitive data. The gadgets then relay this information back to the companies where they were manufactured.

However, can people switch back to their old ways? Can people go back to regular temperature control systems, TV’s that aren’t smart, and human assistants rather than robotic ones?

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has indeed placed new boundaries along the lines of digital snooping especially without warrants and consent. What does the future look like, for a world that cannot live without tech?

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