Hospital or first-time doctor visits all start with the same clipboard. Use it to fill out sensitive personal information and scrawl a signature on the dotted line after several pages of legal jargon.
That information may not be securely stored away, however.
Recent scandals reveal security breaches in the medical records of celebrities such as Britney Spears, George Clooney and Farrah Fawcett.
So what about us non-celebrities? How secure is our personal information? Not very may be the answer, experts say. They cite information leaks, relaxed federal controls and medical records programs operating over the Internet as potential culprits.
The year 2002 marked the dissolution of privacy rights, says Dr. Deborah Peel, the founder of Patient Privacy Rights, medical privacy watchdog organization based in Austin, Texas.