On July 19, 2016, the ONC1 submitted a report to Congress which suggests that health privacy regulations soon may be revised to catch up with the universe of mHealth technologies that now use and share personal health data2. The report, titled Examining Oversight of the Privacy and Security of Health Data Collected by Entities (the "Report"), was drafted by the ONC in collaboration with the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") and US Federal Trade Commission ("FTC"). The Report summarizes the regulatory construct currently protecting the privacy of personal health information held by covered entities (and their business associates)3 and outlines the agencies' concerns regarding the lack of similar regulatory oversight over health data usage by mHealth technology developers and other businesses falling outside the scope of HIPAA4 (each, referred to as a "Non-Covered Entity" or "NCE").Since HIPAA's passage in 1996, health data usage has evolved beyond the simple chart review in the … [Read more...] about Agencies Encourage New Privacy Regulations to Close the mHealth Black Hole and Keep Pace with Evolving Technologies
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A plaintiffs law firm didn’t succeed in blacking out large portions of information in briefs filed in a sex discrimination lawsuit against General Electric.The Connecticut Law Tribune revealed that blacked-out information in briefs accessible through the Pacer electronic filing system could be read by copying and pasting the data into a Word document.“Voilà,” the story reads. “Information about the inner-workings of GE’s white, male-dominated management and their alleged discriminatory practices against women, which is supposed to be sealed by court order, appears with little technical savvy required.”Lead plaintiffs counsel David Sanford of Sanford, Wittels & Heisler in Washington, D.C., was surprised to hear of the problem. “I didn’t know that,” he told the Law Tribune. He said paralegals were responsible for redacting the information.GE spokesman Gary Sheffer told the Law Tribune the documents were supposed to have been … [Read more...] about Blacked-Out Pacer Briefs Easy to Read in GE Bias Lawsuit
PRESTONSBURG, Ky. — Ray Marcum bears the marks of a bygone era of coal mining. At 83, his voice is raspy, his eastern Kentucky accent thick and his forearms leathery. A black pouch of Stoker’s 24C chewing tobacco pokes out of the back pocket of his jeans. “I started chewing in the mines to keep the coal dust out of my mouth,” he says.Plenty of that dust still found its way to his lungs. For the past 30 years, he’s gotten a monthly check to compensate him for the disease that steals his breath — the old bane of miners known as black lung.In mid-century, when Marcum worked, dust filled the mines, largely uncontrolled. Almost half of miners who worked at least 25 years contracted the disease. Amid strikes throughout the West Virginia coalfields, Congress made a promise in 1969: Mining companies would have to keep dust levels down, and black lung would be virtually eradicated.Marcum doesn’t have to look far to see that hasn’t happened. … [Read more...] about Black Lung Surges Back In Coal Country
In the year that has passed since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank to the ocean floor last April, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has generated a flurry of divergent opinions about risk and risk management. Much of the debate has been dominated by two views. One emphasizes the nature of the spill itself; the disaster was an unforseeable "black swan" event. Another view emphasizes the nature of the protagonists; BP and the Minerals Management Service were uniquely incompetent "black sheep" organizations. These views are very different but share a common implication that the Gulf oil spill was unique. Both views, however, are incorrect. A third perspective should be considered that sees neither the risk nor the risk management in this case as unique. This view is both more constructive and more discomfiting. What we have is neither a rare black swan nor a rare black sheep, but a common seagull covered in crude oil. And as such, we have a valuable lesson in risk … [Read more...] about Risk Management Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill. Black Swan or Black Sheep?
The following is drawn from the materials to be presented at the 17th Annual America’s Claims Event 2013 conference in the “Cyber-Liability and Data Loss Claims: A Case Study from Notice of Occurrence Through Conclusion” session on June 20, 2013 in Austin, Texas.NEGLIGENCE. “The omission to do something which a reasonable man, guided by those ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent man would not do.”1“When we think about data breaches, we often worry about malicious minded computer hackers exploiting software flaws, or perhaps Internet criminals seeking to enrich themselves at our expense. But the truth is that errors and negligence within the workplace are a significant cause of data breaches that compromise sensitive personal information.”2According to a recent privacy institute study by the Ponemon Institute, only 8% of the surveyed data breach … [Read more...] about The “Reasonable” Perils of Data Security Law