Technology: Friend or Foe?

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<!–– Technology: Friend or Foe? ––>
The more I read, hear, and see, the more I realize that the technology available to us can indeed have consequences we did not anticipate.

Take cell phones as one example. People continue to drive and use their phones. This situation has caused more auto accidents, despite legislation in many states that prohibits the use of a cell phone, whether used to take a call, make a call, or text, while driving.

But it goes beyond this. Let me give you a firsthand experience. I was stopped at a traffic light, and a person coming off a side street with a green light was making the turn in front of me, and the next thing I know, there is a girl flying up in the air like a rag doll, coming straight down on the pavement. She was looking at her phone as she was running to cross the street, and wham! She ran right into the front side of the car. Then, as she is lying on the pavement, she reaches out to retrieve her phone. She survived, but that was one scary thing to witness.

I often wonder how many of those calls are really that important that they have to be made now, not to mention texting.

Then we have data breaches that are exposing our medical and financial information. I receive Health IT SmartBrief, and every day there is a data breach in the news that exposes thousands of patients’ medical information. Despite the fines being levied by the HHS Office for Civil Rights, healthcare organizations continue to have data breaches. Cybersecurity is the number-one problem in healthcare these days. The systems in place continue to be hacked. From what I have read, a person’s medical information has high street value.

The HIPAA legislation is very clear on the security measures that must be taken to protect patient privacy. Every covered entity, including system vendors, must document how it is complying with the HIPAA security requirements. My bet is that if you asked to see the documentation on this and when it was last updated, you would get a blank look.

Of course the mother of all breaches is what happened at Equifax. The financial exposure for 143 million people is something that is hard to fathom.

Then there is “fake news” and how this is exploiting the likes of Google, Facebook, and Twitter. This makes you question how you can believe what you read on the internet.

Even apps are not secure. These are vulnerable to hackers. This is a particular concern when the app is tied to a medical device.

So while technology has made many positive contributions to the way we work and live, it also has its downside. We need to be aware of this. CT

Bill Lockwood
Chairman | Publisher
Bill can be reached at wal@computertalk.com

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