Imagine you’re researching a story about a new medical device undergoing federal review. You send an email to a source seeking details. But unbeknownst to you, your email has been infected with malware. When your message is opened, the software secretly scours your source’s computer for insider information.
It’s a hypothetical situation – but not far-fetched, says Geoffrey King, a lawyer and lecturer who previously ran the Internet and technology policy program at the Committee to Protect Journalists. Continue reading
The U.S. House of Representatives on March 28 voted 215-205 to eliminate Obama-era consumer protections that bar internet service providers (ISPs) from using and selling information about customers’ online habits, including health and financial data.
The resolution passed the Senate 50-48 the week before, with the White House issuing a statement in full support. Continue reading
There’s a big focus these days on cybersecurity in health care, and rightly so, with the frequency and cost of data breaches.
But what about the legal trade in patient data?
Adam Tanner, a former Reuters reporter and now writer in residence at Harvard University’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science, has a new book out on the lucrative patient data industry. Continue reading
Since Sunday’s horrific shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people and injured 53 patrons at the Pulse night club, journalists have been asking whether the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) limits what hospital administrators can say about a patient’s condition.
One source of confusion was a statement made by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer after the June 12 attack. Continue reading
Charles Ornstein, a senior reporter at ProPublica, kicked off a Health Journalism 2016 session about the federal government’s health privacy rule with several stories of privacy breaches:
- A woman was watching television at night when she came upon footage documenting her husband’s death. She had never been contacted for permission.
- A doctor hired a private investigator to investigate a patient.
- A woman went online and found that a website had made public some 6,000 paternity cases.
These privacy breaches, Ornstein said, can be “very, very harmful” to individuals. Continue reading