Web Health Records Raise Privacy Fears

Top docs say Internet health ventures could bring 'seismic change'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 17, 2008 11:07 AM CDT
Google and Microsoft aim to move medical records to the web.   (Shutterstock.com)
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(Newser) – Medical researchers worry that Internet giants’ ventures into personal health records could turn the system on its head, threatening individual privacy, the New York Times reports. Two experts warn that companies like Microsoft and Google, whose new services put patient information on the web, aren’t subject to standard healthcare regulations, and could be easy targets for advertisers’ probes.

Despite expecting a “seismic change” in the system, the researchers look forward to better-informed patients thanks to web-based record-keeping. “I’m a great believer in patient autonomy in general, but there is going to have to be some measure of limited paternalism,” said one. Responded a Microsoft rep: “I am skeptical of the concept of paternalism. It never turns out to be ‘limited.’”