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Wednesday, October 5, 2005

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I'm sure you are all aware of the data security notification bill currently working its way through Congress. Considering that we at PFF have been closely following the bill, it was quite a coincidence that I ran across this story, courtesy of our good neighbors to the north. A television company, who was filming on the streets of Toronto, used real medical records procured through a recycling plant as props.

Yes, you read that right. Private medical records were used as film props. To make it worse, the paper records were scattered and blown down a public street, allowing all who happened to be in the area to get a good look at information that should remain private.

The entire article in the Toronto Star can be found here. Needless to say, Ontario Privacy Commissioner Ann Cavoukian is currently investigating this situation.

This is probably the best advertisement I've seen for widespred adoption of technology in the medical industry. The simple use of digital medical records, as opposed to paper files, could have avoided this "incident".

Now, back to my original point. I'm honestly not that familiar with Canadian privacy laws (input welcome here) but, I did read that Commissioner Cavoukian is currently wrestling with the problem of notifying all of the poor souls who were victims of this really dumb act. The general public and Congress are obviously aware that there is always a chance of "data breach" when dealing with digital records. Obviously, you face the same problem with old fashioned paper files.

posted by Amy Smorodin @ 12:44 PM | Privacy

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