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Google launched the beta version of its Google Health personal health records aggregator Monday. The service, according to Google, will put users in control of their own medical records, giving them 24-hour-a-day access to their health records from a variety of sources. With the introduction of Google Health, the search giant joins other Internet companies including Microsoft's HealthVault, Revolution Health and
WebMD in the business of storing personal health records.
Anyone worried about potential, downstream privacy violations from Google ought first to worry about the enormous volume of personal medical data that is outsourced daily to 3rd-parties in countries that have privacy protections that are not robust (or do not exist at all). Privacy worriers should think next about all of the in-office HIIPA violations that occur when: files are left open/out/in view of other patients; medical staff call to each other about patients or about records; or, best yet, when a nurse bellows "What seems to be the problem!?" in front of a lobby full of other patients. Anyone who thinks their medical records are secure, now, is dreaming. Individuals should have the ability to compile and to consult their medical records, and moreover, to have a look at what the medical-data establishment releases on them when asked.