The recent high-profile hack into celebrity private photos stored in the cloud and how hackers accessed and posted the personal photos forces those of us in the mobile healthcare arena to confront the issue – what if the hack had been personal health information? While nude photos of Jennifer Lawrence (or any other celebrity) are certainly embarrassing and a violation of her privacy, the injury pales in comparison to someone’s health information being hacked and posted – where the release of that information could harm them in myriad ways – both personally and professionally.
The celebrity hack illustrates stored data in a cloud obviously isn’t truly protected; and it cuts right to the ‘what if” scenario. One thing is certain – it would be disastrous not only for the person violated, but for the company charged with protecting the data.
Privacy and data protection are prescient issues that impact everyone in the healthcare ecosystem, from patients to clinicians to vendors and payers. Mobile in healthcare isn’t going away, just the reverse actually. And the question of how and where the patient’s data will reside, shared and protected is relevant for everyone.
The celebrity hack issue is a visible reminder that data security is at the top of the priority list as digital health grows. Who takes the lead in ensuring it is TBD, but the near ubiquity of mHealth means it’s just a matter of time before healthcare data will be a target.
If you want to dive deeper, here are a couple of useful resources on the subject: