As the "online" and "offline" worlds
continue to converge, medical Web sites are offering more
and more services to patients and doctors. This raises questions
about the privacy of medical information online.
Most medical privacy issues are the same online and off. The privacy and
confidentiality requirements imposed offline, for example, apply equally online. The
major difference between online and offline medical privacy is the speed at which
medical information can move online.
This calls not for additional or separate rules regarding online medical privacy,
but it highlights the importance of ensuring the security
of medical information online. Security
is a separate issue from privacy, but very closely related.
A business' security measures allow it to carry out its promises
and obligations, including those relating to privacy. If the
security of medical records is not well-maintained — online
or off — the privacy of patients may be invaded.
Can you trust Doctor Dot-com? by Benjamin Ryan,
Money.com (July 18, 2000)