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Patient Data Sharing Spurs Concerns

SOCIAL NETWORKING

September 29, 2010

Even as medical identity theft becomes more prevalent, some patients are voluntarily posting their personal medical details on healthcare-related social networks, DarkReading reports. And while some divulge the information (diagnoses, medications, locations) readily, some experts worry that other patients are participating under the mistaken assumption that their posts are anonymous, thereby making themselves vulnerable to social engineering and other attacks. Nitesh Dhanjani of Ernst & Young says a patient's identity could be ascertained by linking it to data posted on other social networks. "We know...that with one handle and any one piece of data you have in Facebook, you can easily connect the dots and link everything up," Dhanjani said. (For more on patient data sharing, see the article "Health Information-Sharing Environment" from the September 2009 issue of Inside 1to1: Privacy.)
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