One portion of the Affordable Care Act requires you medical data to be digitized by 2015. Many physicians say that will improve patient care, but privacy experts like University of Houston Associate Professor Art Conklin wonder if safeguards are keeping pace with this use of technology. Security was already breached in Minnesota, where information on people applying at a health insurance exchange was forwarded by mistake.
Conklin says mistakes will happen.
“When you talk about health care information,” he asks, “do I want this out there? Do I want a future employer to know that I've had cancer?”
The information in your patient records is more dangerous to you, and more valuable to ID thieves, than your credit cards – and it can really hurt you.
“Once the information ends up in place, secondary, tertiary uses of it -- things it wasn't intended for -- become a problem,” he says.
He says he expects the IRS to become a part of the process and that agency has already shown some vulnerabilities and a willingness to use information to punish political opponents.