The federal privacy law known as HIPAA doesn’t cover home paternity tests, fitness trackers, or health apps. When a Florida woman complained after seeing the paternity test results of thousands of people online, federal regulators told her they didn’t have jurisdiction.
Garbage has become an unlikely battleground in the abortion debate, as anti-abortion groups seek evidence of privacy violations in clinics’ trash. “Is it a little bit on the sketchy side?” one activist said of such tactics. “Yeah, maybe.”
Across the country, those who support abortion rights and those who oppose them are feuding in court over how much information should be disclosed about women undergoing abortions. Supporters say there’s no margin for error. Opponents say it’s about ensuring quality care.
Yet another health insurer recently reported a massive data breach, affecting the financial and medical information of 11 million people. We asked the head of the federal agency tasked with investigating these issues whether the notion of patient privacy was outmoded.
A bill has been filed in New York that would make it one. State Assemblyman Ed Braunstein was inspired by a story about a man whose death was recorded by the real-life medical series NY Med without permission. His widow recognized her husband while watching the show on TV.
In a recently filed lawsuit, Ebola-infected nurse Nina Pham says that a colleague videotaped her without her permission and then the hospital she was treated in released the tape to the media, violating her privacy.
Federal health watchdogs say they are cracking down on organizations that don’t protect the privacy and security of patient records, but data suggests otherwise.