Online medical records offer convenience, may limit privacy

“The concept is wonderful, but because we have absolutely no control over personal health information in electronic form, they’re very dangerous,” Peel says. “There’s essentially no laws to stop (companies) from data-mining that information and using it in a way that you would never want.

But promises are not enough, says Deborah Peel, a physician and founder of Patient Privacy Rights, a non-profit organization that is leading a bipartisan privacy-rights coalition that includes organizations as varied as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Gun Owners of America. “We can’t take anyone’s word for it because the information is so incredibly valuable,” she says.

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