Seven Network Limited v South Eastern Sydney Local Health District [2017] NSWCATAD 210

Decision date: 27 June 2017
“Government Information (Public Access) – application for disclosure of CCTV footage of assaults on staff at hospitals – whether overriding public interest against disclosure – disclosure of personal information and health information – disclosure prejudicing the effective exercise of the agency’s functions – whether pixelation of faces and identifying marks would avoid concerns – impact on operations of hospitals if footage recording treatment of patients was released.”
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Merck hack part of a massive global attack

Philly.com, 27 June 2017
Author: Chris Mondics
“A massive ransomware attack Tuesday took down computers across the globe, including the systems of the pharmaceutical firm Merck & Co., which has extensive operations in the Philadelphia area. The attack was detected at computers in Merck facilities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey around 8 a.m., and the company acknowledged it a few hours later. The attack on Merck was part of a larger digital assault worldwide.”
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Physicians, Patients, and Firearms: The Courts Say ‘Yes’

Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(10):745-746.
Authors: Marian E. Betz, Megan L. Ranney, Garen J. Wintemute
“On 16 February 2017, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned key provisions of Florida’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act (FOPA), the 2011 ‘gag law’ that sought to deter physicians from discussing firearms with patients. This 10-to-1 decision focused on physicians’ and patients’ First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. It upheld the original District Court ruling in favor of physicians who had challenged FOPA and nullified 3 prior opinions by a panel of the Eleventh Circuit Court itself. Four provisions of the law were challenged, and the court invalidated 3 of them.”
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Medical device theft at SSM Health puts data on 836 patients at risk

Information Management, 30 May 2017
Author: Joseph Goedert
“A medical device that records physiological data was stolen on April 12 from SSM Health Orthopedics, which operates out of SSM Health-owned DePaul Hospital in St. Louis, potentially affecting the data of 836 patients. The organization said the medical device, which looks similar to a laptop computer, contained in its memory some physiological data as well as protected health information from patients who participated in a study between 2002 and 2017. The organization notified the patients that some of their protected health information has been compromised.”
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Undermining Genetic Privacy? Employee Wellness Programs and the Law

NEJM, 24 May 2017
Authors: Kathy L. Hudson, Karen Pollitz
“Genetic information is becoming ubiquitous in research and medicine. The cost of genetic analysis continues to fall, and its medical and personal value continues to grow. Anticipating this age of genetic medicine, policymakers passed laws and regulations years ago to protect Americans’ privacy and prevent misuse of their health-related information. But a bill moving through the House of Representatives, called the Preserving Employee Wellness Programs Act (H.R. 1313), would preempt key protections. Because the bill, which was sent to the full House by the Education and the Workforce Committee in March, would substantially change legal protections related to the collection and treatment of personal health and genetic information by workplace wellness programs, it should be on the radar screens of physicians, researchers, and the public.”
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NHS services hit in global cyber-attack across 12 countries

The Guardian, 13 May 2017
Authors: Damien Gayle, Alexandra Topping, Ian Sample, Sarah Marsh and Vikram Dodd
“The NHS has been hit as part of a global cyber-attack that threw hospitals and businesses in the UK and around the world into chaos. The unprecedented attack on Friday affected 12 countries and at least 16 NHS trusts in the UK, compromising IT systems that underpin patient safety. Staff across the NHS were locked out of their computers and trusts had to divert emergency patients. The same malicious software that hit NHS networks attacked some of the largest companies in Spain and Portugal and has also been detected on computers in Russia, Ukraine, Taiwan and eight other countries. In the UK, computers in hospitals and GP surgeries simultaneously received a pop-up message demanding a ransom in exchange for access to the PCs.”
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Patient privacy breach: over 1,400 medical letters found dumped in Sydney bin

SMH, 21 April 2017
Author: Kate Aubusson
“More than 700 public patients have had their privacy breached after more than 1000 medical letters were found dumped in Sydney bin. The incident has prompted Health Minister to launch an external review into the transcription services across all NSW public health facilities. This incident bolstered the case of an overhaul of the current paper-heavy health correspondence system and comprehensive switch to digital health record keeping.”
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Who will own your data when your electronic health records are linked to Aadhaar?

Scroll.in, 6 April 2017
Authors: Anumeha Yadav, Menaka Rao
“After making Aadhaar necessary to access a number of services, the government is now ready to start linking health records to the biometrics-based identity number system. “Patients’ Aadhaar numbers will be linked to a second health ID and these will be used in electronic health records,” The health records will contain all the information related to the patient including name, address, and the health records produced during his or her visit to the hospital such as X-ray reports, blood test reports among others.”
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The Data Show Hospitals Need To Do Better At Protecting Your Personal Data

Forbes, 5 April 2017
Author: Bruce Y. Lee
“How safe is your personal data at hospitals? Well, a study just published in JAMA Internal Medicine found 1,798 incidences of large data breaches in patient information over roughly a seven-year period. These were cybersecurity failures either from hacks or mistakes that in each case exposed the records of more than 500 individuals. Hospitals and other healthcare providers usually have your financial information, personal health history and lots of detailed information that can affect your job prospects, your credit, many things in your life, etc.”
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Smart homes, private homes? An empirical study of technology researchers’ perceptions of ethical issues in developing smart-home health technologies

BMC Medical Ethics 2017 18:23
Authors: Giles Birchley, Richard Huxtable, Madeleine Murtagh, Ruud ter Meulen, Peter Flach, Rachael Gooberman-Hill
“Smart-home technologies, comprising environmental sensors, wearables and video are attracting interest in home healthcare delivery. Development of such technology is usually justified on the basis of the technology’s potential to increase the autonomy of people living with long-term conditions. Studies of the ethics of smart-homes raise concerns about privacy, consent, social isolation and equity of access. Few studies have investigated the ethical perspectives of smart-home engineers themselves. By exploring the views of engineering researchers in a large smart-home project, we sought to contribute to dialogue between ethics and the engineering community.”
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