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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 
  get across.
  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
  Alan Lewis