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FTC Supports Data Protection Bill

Photo: case-connect.com
Photo: case-connect.com

President Barack Obama has long pushed for wider implementation of electronic medical records. But consumer advocates have often worried about the safety of massive databases full of private information.

In hearings before the Senate Commerce Committee last week, the Federal Trade Commission put its stamp of approval on a bill that would enact stricter security guidelines for such databases. FTC’s support provides another reason to not put off a doctor’s visit:  it’s safer – at least for patients’ personal information.

The Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2010 would require businesses and nonprofit organizations that are privy to sensitive information to adopt regulations that restrict unauthorized access. The bill would also require companies to inform customers when breaches of personal information occur.

The bill would complement other security provisions that relate specifically to healthcare entities, such as hospitals and doctors’ offices, known as the HITECH Act.

The bill has been introduced two previous times, but Senate Commerce Committee Chair Jay Rockefeller is confident this time the bill will make it to a vote out of the committee, according to a report in iHealthBeat.

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