Thursday, December 10, 2015

Choice Weighs In To Discuss Some Of The Risks And Benefits Of Health Apps and The PCEHR.

This appeared a few days ago:

Your health e-wallet

2nd December 2015
The big tech companies are gearing up to be the virtual safe-deposit box for personal health records, activity tracking and general wellbeing data such as cholesterol and other blood test results. Apple, Google and Microsoft all have portals that link to fitness trackers and let you record, view and analyse your personal health data. 
The government is also encouraging people to register for its eHealth service that stores health records including medical visits, list of medications, immunisation records and imaging in an online database. You and your local doctor have access to the records for reviewing test results, checking treatment history and important details such as allergies or vaccinations.
Planning a digital health kick? See our fitness tracker reviews comparing Fitbit, Jawbone and more.

What about data hacks?

The latest hack on tech toymaker VTech, which has exposed millions of online, could naturally make you nervous about uploading health data to an online site. It comes after a hack on Kmart Australia's online order system in October. While these hacks expose the potential for data breaches, it also reminds us to always use a strong, unique password because that's often the easiest line of attack. If in doubt, read the privacy statement before using the service and check if it has a data breach notification policy.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) is currently reviewing health privacy guidelines and publishes ehealth privacy information for consumers. These hacks underscore the need to have a mandatory data breach regime in place in Australia to protect all users of online service. The government promised such a regime would be in place by the end of the year when it introduced the mandatory data retention regime, but it's yet to come.
Lots more here:
The article provides some useful links and perspectives on what is out there now.
Worth a browse.

1 comment:

Trevor3130 said...

Some background, from Scared, dead, relieved: How the Ashley Madison hack changed its victims’ lives.

For all of us, there is some data set out there capable of wreaking havoc should it ever be unleashed. We keep our e-mails in the cloud, along with our lists of contacts and calendars. If you use a fitness tracker like Jawbone, your health data is in there, too. Uber knows where you’ve been and when. Our Amazon purchases and Google searches reveal an alarming amount of detail about what we do and think. There is no light bright enough to shine into all of the infinite cracks and crevices where the intimate digital portraits of our lives are stored.

“Too often the public conversation about online vulnerability is about things like identity theft and credit card fraud,” Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy & Technology Project, told me. “For most people, though, credit card fraud actually has minimal impact. But what if there was a database that knew where your phone had been everyday between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m.? Functionally that database would be a proxy for who you were sleeping with. Well, there is that database, because you have a phone. There isn’t anybody out there who should feel smugly secure.”