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Re: MED-PRIVACY digest 166
Dick Mills' post (excerpted below) was right on the mark.
I can make these additional points and questions:
1) How much of the info stored about each of us is even that well
protected? Why was it not stored in encrypted form?
2) Will Calvert's superiors make an example of him, or do as little as
law & public opinion lets them do?
3) Under what kind of statutes could Calvert be prosecuted, and with
what degree of penalty? He did more harm to those 4,000 people than
someone who, say, sold them each a single dose of crack. The harm he did
is irreparable, after all. The penalties for his crime, and crimes of
the same sort (dissemination of medical information without authority)
should be as vigorously prosecuted, and thoroughly punished, as drug
crimes -- "pour encourager les autres."
4) How will the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services ever
regain the trust of their client base? There's another level of harm
done in Florida, one from which *the state as a whole* might not fully
recover. It is a type of harm not much discussed in this list, though it
should be. As the *inevitable* breaches of personal privacy occur within
the situation now coming into being, what will be the damage to public
trust? With what results downstream? Some time back, I exchanged posts
in this list with someone whose name we'd all know from reading it. He
kept on about the financial savings from making available data previously
private (at least in practical terms). I kept asking, "What about the
non-financial costs?" This is one little example of what I was trying to
Begin included message ----------------------
Copies of a computer disk with the names of AIDS patients were
shipped anonymously to The Tampa Tribune and St. Petersburg
Times. The sender said Calvert, 35, of Treasure Island, dropped
it after showing it to friends at a gay bar.
The information is kept under several different lock systems, in
a locked room, with a secret password access, Fulton-Jones said.
The state health department keeps track of treatment provided the
patients listed and turns that information over to the federal
--------------------- End included message