Whenever I go to a doctor and am asked what I do for a living, I say that I focus on information privacy law.
“HIPAA?” the doctors will ask.
“Yes, HIPAA,” I confess.
And then the doctor’s face turns grim. At first, it looks like the face of a doctor about to tell you that you’ve got a fatal disease. Then, the doctor’s face crinkles up slightly with disgust. This face is so distinctive and so common that I think it should be called “HIPAA face.” It’s about as bad as “stink eye.”
Authentication presents one of the greatest security challenges organizations face. How do we accurately ensure that people seeking access to accounts or data are actually whom they say they are? People need to be able to access accounts and data conveniently, and access must often be provided remotely, without being able to see or hear the person seeking access.
This post is part of a post series where we round up some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding.For a PDF version of this post, and for archived issues of previous posts, click here. We cover health issues in a separate post.
A recent New York Times article discusses the issue of what happens to your personal data when companies go bankrupt or are sold to other companies:
When sites and apps get acquired or go bankrupt, the consumer data they have amassed may be among the companies’ most valuable assets. And that has created an incentive for some online services to collect vast databases on people without giving them the power to decide which companies, or industries, may end up with their information.
This has long been a problem, and I’m glad to see it receiving some attention. The issue arose in one of the early FTC cases on privacy about 15 years ago.
I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, so I guess it is fitting that my favorite team becomes embroiled in a big privacy and data security incident. At the outset, apologies for the feature photo above. It pulled up under a search for “baseball hacker,” and as a collector of ridiculous hacker stock photos, I couldn’t resist adding this one to my collection. I doctored it up by adding in the background, but I applaud the prophetic powers of the photographer who had a vision that one day such an image would be needed.