Nov 252015
 November 25, 2015  Healthcare No Responses »

Amy Mitchell-Whittington reports:

More than half a million healthcare professionals are sharing their medical cases via an app likened to an Instagram for doctors, but grave concerns are held for patient privacy and confidentiality.

The app, Figure 1, was set up in 2013 and is a platform for healthcare professionals to upload and share images of medical cases with other professionals for feedback, education, teaching and research.



Images are uploaded along with a title, associated tags and a comments section, allowing users from around the world to contribute opinions and advice.

Dr Landy said privacy was the primary focus of the app, with in-built tools designed to blur out sections of images to protect patient identity. Patient consent forms are mandatory.


Read more on Sydney Morning Herald.

This is one of those situations where I applaud the app developer and their intentions. Are there risks/concerns? Absolutely, and I can envision some situations where a patient’s symptoms are so unusual that they might be identified just because of the description attached to an image. But this is where we need some sharp minds to come together and help minimize the risks so that people can benefit by sharing information and ideas on unusual or challenging medical cases. I do think a well-written informed consent that lays out the risks should address the concerns, but let’s get some people looking at this to help improve the app and not kill it.

Nov 252015
 November 25, 2015  Business, Featured News No Responses »

Blair Hanley Frank reports:

People who updated to the latest Windows 10 update may want to double-check their settings. Microsoft revealed Tuesday that it took the previous update (which was released on November 12) down from the Internet the day before because of a problem that reset some users’ privacy settings when installed.

The bug reset settings on affected devices to make it easier for advertisers to track users across applications, and allow devices to share users’ information with wireless gizmos like bluetooth beacons that don’t explicitly pair with a PC, tablet or phone.

Read more on PCWorld.  The Register also covers the issue, noting:

Indeed, this update is supposed to correct the overwritten settings. Microsoft has come under fire for its odd approach to privacy in Windows 10, but at least in this case it acted fast fixing the cockup.

The November update, version 1511 aka build 10586, is now available again via MCT for people with machines to manage.

Nov 252015
 November 25, 2015  Breaches, Court, Non-U.S., Workplace No Responses »

Haneen Dajani reports:

Three government officials who installed CCTV cameras in a women’s customer service centre will once again appear in court after their acquittal was overturned by the appeals court.

Tuesday’s ruling upheld the first verdict issued in the case by the Court of Misdemeanor, which found the trio guilty of breaching employees’ privacy.

Read more on The National.

Nov 252015

Les Leyne writes:

It’s been more than a decade since the B.C. government responded to a rush of concern about personal information being exposed to U.S. security snoops by outlawing the transfer of provincial data across the border.

The extraordinary scope of the post-9-11 USA PATRIOT Act, which gave U.S. anti-terrorist agencies open access to virtually all privately held data, prompted worries about B.C.’s plans to outsource some data management to U.S. companies or their Canadian subsidiaries.

The government employees’ union filed suit to block one outsourcing attempt over privacy concerns. The information and privacy commissioner weighed in with warnings about the threat, and the B.C. Liberals amended the law to require that government information on B.C. citizens be kept in Canada.

Privacy advocates and almost everyone else heaved a sigh of relief.

But 11 years on, a privacy expert says the supposed protection is a drag on efficient administration of B.C.’s health sector, which has to make do with third- or fourth-rate systems to comply with the law.

Steven Tam, chief privacy officer and general counsel for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, briefed the legislature committee reviewing the information and privacy law. He said the restriction bars health authorities from buying the best information-technology solutions to their problems. Instead, they have to shop from the limited variety available in Canada.

Read more on Times Colonist.