[ Monday, June 06, 2005 ]


Spy stuff: Interesting story in the Boston Globe about storing information on Ipods. You can just imagine this scenario played out in a spy novel (or remember the original Men In Black movie, with the "galaxy" hanging on Orion's belt). It also reminds me of a Dick Francis book, Twice Shy. In that book, written back in the early computer age when information was stored on cassette tapes (yeah, I'm old), the MOB-pursued victim has some information from his computer put on tapes to keep away from the bad guys. He puts the tapes in cases for Broadway musical soundtracks, and gives them to his friend, who he knows hates show tunes, for safekeeping. The friend actually tries to play a tape in his car's cassette deck, but only gets clicks and pops. The point is that hiding information where it wouldn't likely be can be a useful tool.

Anyway, this is a useful reminder, though to those of you who use your Ipods for carrying around medical files, that (i) the device itself is a target for thieves, and (ii) while the thief might not know what he's got once he gets it, someone else might be able to access and use the information. Also, always remember that while most PHI is dull and boring (and omnipresent), there is some (such as social security numbers) that is useful for identity theft, and that information, not the information about the patient's gall bladder or even impotence, is the real target of potential PHI thieves.

(hat tip: Alan Goldberg)

Jeff [10:23 AM]

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