Id Theft Alerts

July 15, 2010
New Patient Privacy Rules

Electronic Medical Records

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a new rule concerning patient information.  The rule is written to let patients restrict access to certain health information information, bans the sale of patient data without consent, limits the use of protected health information for marketing and fundraising purposes, and extends  privacy and security requirements to business associates. The rule modifies the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. 

The new rule will enter a 60-day comment period beginning July 14. You can make comments at the HHS website.
Hotel Employees Steal Identities

It is frustrating when businesses don't even take the most basic precautions with sensitive information. Five people were arrested in San Antonio for running an identity theft ring. They got their information from an unlocked records room at a hotel. [story]

If you collect private information you need to make sure you lock it up. Computer hackers get all of the press attention but it is not as great a threat as the low tech variety.
DMV Selling Personal Information

As states face mounting budget pressures they are coming up with more ways to collect revenue. But how would you feel if your state sold personal information to data brokers. That is exactly what happened in Ohio.

Beginning in 2005 the Ohio DMV has sold 1.39 billion records containing personal information for about $42 million. The information can now be used against their citizens for anything from higher insurance rates to identity theft. [story]

States need to make some tough choices about their budgets or look for this type of behavior to spread everywhere.
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