Friday, March 22, 2013

Clerk Prosecuted: Accessed Ex-husband's Spouse's Medical Data

A former receptionist at a UK physician's office has been prosecuted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for unlawfully obtaining sensitive medical information relating to her ex-husband’s new wife.

Marcia Phillips was found to have accessed the information on 15 separate occasions over a 16-month period while working as a receptionist at a medical practice. The breach became apparent after Phillips left her job and sent a text message to her ex-husband’s partner referring to highly sensitive medical information taken from her medical record.

"This case clearly shows the distress that can be caused when an individual uses a position of responsibility to illegally access sensitive personal information."
-Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection, David Smith
It is important to ask why the breaches, which took place on multiple occasions over a long time period, were not detected proactively during regularly scheduled audits.
Download a white paper on patient privacy breach detection. Learn how to proactively identify unauthorized breaches of patient data privacy, even by authorized users - with no hardware and no on-site software.
Sources:
(a) Medical Receptionist Prosecuted After Unlawfully Accessing Patient's Details - UK Information Commissioner's Office, 03/12/2013

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