UP FRONT INFO SECURITY R Consumers Don’t Trust Healthcare IT Security, Benefits More specifically, respondents overwhelmingly fear their prescrip-tion (90%), mental health (99%), and chronic conditions (81%) informa-tion is being shared with retailers, employers, and the government. Accordingly, the survey suggests that 89% of consumers in 2016 withheld health information during doctor vis-its. A clear majority of respondents (69%) also believe their primary care physician lacks the technology savvy to protect their personal information. “High-level data breaches, and now ransomware, are becoming mainstream,” said Brown. “Consum-ers may have had concerns before, but now it’s constantly in the news, with millions of American impacted by breaches like Anthem.” esults from a recent survey could be troubling for the health-care industry and providers of healthcare IT products and services. As reported in a Jan. 9 article on the Health Data Management website, one national survey of 12,000 individuals, conducted last fall by market research firm Black Book, found that 70% of respondents distrust health technology. Further, 57% of consumers are skeptical of the overall benefits of health IT, such as electronic health records, patient portals, and mobile apps. The distrust and skepticism apparently stem from high-profile data breaches and a general perception of poor security. “We saw that distrust number in particular with consumers and mental health records and pharmacies,” said Doug Brown, managing partner at Black Book. “They feel that there’s some kind of leakage of information, even if it’s not cybersecurity-related.” GOVERNMENT RECORDS A White House Use of Encrypted Messaging May Violate Law The Journal reported that aides close to the president are using Signal, which encrypts data end to end. The app was reportedly used by some staff in the Obama administration as well. The incentive to encrypt may have been boosted by the hacking of the Democratic National Committee. But by keeping such communications private, the administration may be violating the Presidential Records Act, which requires staff to keep records of conversations. The article quotes Michael Morisy, founder of news site MuckRock: “If new agency appointees are using Signal or other disappearing message apps routinely for work, even if it’s not classified, that’s a serious lapse in records retention policy. Email retention is still a huge struggle, and I have a hard time believing that Signal messages are properly being archived.” Alex Howard, an executive with the Sunlight Foundation, says it’s “a recipe for corruption” and a “willful effort not to be held accountable.” According to U.S. federal law, all records of government business must be preserved by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) within a few days of their creation. While a 2014 update to the law expanded the tools that federal employees can use, allowing a wider range of instant messaging and social media platforms for communication, it did not exempt them from being archived. Data generated on apps like Signal cannot be captured and therefore cannot be archived; any back-up efforts would have to be self-policed. The White House did not respond to requests from the Journal on wheth-er the new administration had set up data retention policies for its encrypted messaging. s reported in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, senior Trump administration aides are using encrypted messaging apps to communicate, which might violate federal recordkeeping laws. 6 March/April 2017
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