Privacy Is Under Siege at Work, at Home, and Online
The assurances are not enough for Butler, who also was unsettled to hear of an internal hospital memo awarding cash prizes to staffers who sign up the most patients for Medscape passwords. "I don't want to be part of a contest in my doctor's office," says Butler, wrinkling his nose. "I'm usually not squeamish about data on the Net, but this scares the heck out of me."
Here's how to better shield your medical records:
Read before you sign. Edit release forms before signing them to limit who will receive access to your medical data.
Consider all tests. Don't take genetic tests unless medically necessary. If the results are disseminated, they could affect your future job and insurance prospects. -D.H.
WHERE TO LEARN MORE
Workplace. Visit www.aclu.org to read more about employee monitoring.
Financial. The Federal Trade Commission's booklet, ID Theft: When Bad Things Happen To Your Good Name, is available at www.consumer.gov/idtheft.
Internet. Fed up with DoubleClick cookie crumbs? Follow the prompts at www.doubleclick.net/us/ to opt out.
Medical. Learn how to get a copy of your file from the Medical Information Bureau at www.healthprivacy.org.
With Margaret A. Mannix