Risk
12/7/2010
07:35 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

California Does Health Care Data Breaches Right

Since this spring, the California Department of Public Health has fined 12 health facilities about $1.5 million as a result of data breaches. Let's hope they keep fining organizations that fail to properly protect patient data.

Since this spring, the California Department of Public Health has fined 12 health facilities about $1.5 million as a result of data breaches. Let's hope they keep fining organizations that fail to properly protect patient data.If you've been reading my posts long enough, you know that I consider health care data breaches much worse on consumers that credit card breaches. With credit card breaches most users are held liable for $50 - if that - and fraudulent transactions can be cleaned up pretty quickly. Not always so with private health care data - once confidential information is spilled onto the Internet, it can't be put back into the bottle. Friends, co-workers, family members, and potential employers may forever know what was supposed to be kept confidential.

That's why when clicking through my normal blog and news reading last night, I was happy to read the post California Department of Public Health Continues to Fine Hospitals and Nursing Homes for Data Breaches that detailed the million and a half in fines as a result of Californian Health and Safety Code 1280.15(a) that requires health facilities to properly protect patient data:

Violations of this requirement can result in penalties of up to $25,000 per patient and up to $17,500 per subsequent occurrences of unlawful or unauthorized access, use or disclosure of that patients medical information.

In its most recent wave of penalties, announced November 19, 2010, CDPH assessed fines totaling $792,500 against six hospitals and one nursing home that it determined failed to prevent unauthorized access to confidential patient medical information. In one case, a health facility was fined $310,000:

$60,000 because the facility failed to prevent unauthorized access and disclosure of one patient's medical information by two employees on three occasions.

$250,000 because the facility failed to prevent the theft of 596 patients' medical information

Not only does California have this consumer protection law on their books, they're actively enforcing it. So, just as California set an important path with SB 1383 in 2003 - which sent into motion the legislatures in most states to follow suit - let's hope the state is setting another example that many more states will emulate.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, follow me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Flash Poll
Current Issue
Cartoon
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-6335
Published: 2014-08-26
The Backup-Archive client in IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) for Space Management 5.x and 6.x before 6.2.5.3, 6.3.x before 6.3.2, 6.4.x before 6.4.2, and 7.1.x before 7.1.0.3 on Linux and AIX, and 5.x and 6.x before 6.1.5.6 on Solaris and HP-UX, does not preserve file permissions across backup and ...

CVE-2014-0480
Published: 2014-08-26
The core.urlresolvers.reverse function in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 does not properly validate URLs, which allows remote attackers to conduct phishing attacks via a // (slash slash) in a URL, which triggers a scheme-relative URL ...

CVE-2014-0481
Published: 2014-08-26
The default configuration for the file upload handling system in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 uses a sequential file name generation process when a file with a conflicting name is uploaded, which allows remote attackers to cause a d...

CVE-2014-0482
Published: 2014-08-26
The contrib.auth.middleware.RemoteUserMiddleware middleware in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3, when using the contrib.auth.backends.RemoteUserBackend backend, allows remote authenticated users to hijack web sessions via vectors relate...

CVE-2014-0483
Published: 2014-08-26
The administrative interface (contrib.admin) in Django before 1.4.14, 1.5.x before 1.5.9, 1.6.x before 1.6.6, and 1.7 before release candidate 3 does not check if a field represents a relationship between models, which allows remote authenticated users to obtain sensitive information via a to_field ...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Three interviews on critical embedded systems and security, recorded at Black Hat 2014 in Las Vegas.