Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cue The Black Helicopters

I don't want to cut short any discussion on my last couple involuntary treatment posts, but I wanted to let people know we've got a new Shrink Rap News column up over on Clinical Psychiatry News. My titles over there tend to run on the wordy side, but it's called "RAND Report Signals Threat to Patient Privacy." It's about a recently published think tank report discussing the state of the art of current digital surveillance sources, how they can be analyzed and interpreted and potential applications in national security systems. It's relevant to Shrink Rap because one of the sources they mention----quite transiently and in passing, but it's there----is medical information. And once a person is identified through this Big Data analysis, the report suggests they could be arrested, put under surveillance or taken in for interrogation. Whoa, there's one application of an EMR I never anticipated!

To my knowledge none of this is happening yet, but five years ago I never expected we'd ever hear about anything like PRISM. Go over and read.

Meanwhile, over on KevinMD today there's a similar post by T. J. Derham entitled "How Edward Snowden and PRISM affect health care social media" in which he encourages doctors to still be involved in social media and health care IT systems in spite of PRISM. I'm not sure I'm totally sold on the argument. I want Roy to think about this and put up a Shrink Rap News post pro- or con. Read the KevinMD post here.

I'm going to have to invent new Blogger labels for posts like this now. What should they be? #nsa? #blackchopper? #dontquestionmebro?


Psycritic said...

Not sure how secure EMRs are from government surveillance, but one huge problem right now is that many therapists I know exchange text messages with their patients. There are also some therapists and doctors who regularly use unencrypted email to communicate with patients.

It's amazing how many patients and practitioners don't seem to realize just how insecure and non-private those forms of communication are.


Been there said...

For some reason you seem to believe this is still in the realm of sci fi. It is not. DHS has your health information; you just aren't aware of that and they are not telling you. Perhaps they do not have yours but they do have the health records of many, many patients who have never seen the inside or a court room or a prison, just a hospital.