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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Health Privacy Incompatible With P2P

Health Privacy Incompatible With P2P

Health Privacy Incompatible With P2P

Added: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
“The Inadvertent Disclosure of Personal Health Information through Peer-to-peer File Sharing Programs” – the title of the study carried out in Ottawa by the team of Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). The authors note that healthcare professionals taking the patient information home and copying it to personal computers that have P2P software installed are jeopardizing confidentiality of the patients.

The Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association has published this research, highlighting the fact that personal financial and health information stored in home computers of North America may be vulnerable to stealing through peer-to-peer software.

Lead author of the study claims that users may be unaware that some vendors use software with dangerous sharing features and thereby all sensitive information on their personal computers could be exposed to others.

The methods of research were approved by the CHEO ethics board: the team used well-known file-sharing applications for gaining access to the identifying and personal financial and health data of individuals from the United States and Canada. And that was done successfully just by entering simple search terms – the team managed to find medical authorizations and other documents containing medical history and all personal and bank details, including passwords and credit card numbers, account and PIN numbers. So this first study of such kind can estimate the level of disclosing the personal health information through file-sharing programs.

Generally North Americans use P2P applications like Kazaa, BitTorrent and Limewire to share and access videos, music and pornography. But during this project, the CHEO team found evidence of outside users looking for files containing private financial and health data, which can’t have any obvious innocent reason for searching. They are only a tiny part of the examined IP addresses, but as millions of people in North America use file-sharing software, that part easily transfers to thousands of other computers.

Now more public attention is brought to the security of financial information, and actually researchers found out that this kind of data has higher percentage of downloading. But if Canada and the United States are going to keep moving towards digitization of health records, then a hot button issue is ensuring the privacy of such information too.

March 2nd, 2010

Posted by: 

Date:  Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

Comments (4) (please add your comment »)

posted by ET junkieET lover (2010-03-02 20:18:00)
bodthepimp avatarTHX FOR THE READ SaM tHe MaN

posted by (2010-03-03 06:33:21)
Roland_of_Gilead avatarI used to work in medical billing and if we got caught taking ANY item related to a patient off the system at work, we (obviously) got fired and fined $10,000 per item taken. Let's put the blame on these idiots first over P2P software for these HIPAA violations...

posted by (2010-03-03 07:42:13)
Stayingtrue avatarthanks for the article.

posted by Blocked (2010-03-03 21:36:26)
navpq avatarhipaa violations means?

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