Recently, a young mother, hospitalised four years ago in Marseille (AP-HM), came across her medical file on the Internet. And this is not an isolated case. In February, "without the patients noticing it, data from the Foch hospital in Suresnes and the Pôle de Santé du Plateau, which groups the clinics of Clamart and Meudon (Hauts-de-Seine), were also found on the Internet […]. In each case it was due to human errors or negligence, not malevolence," and "other cases may come to light." A paradox, the journalist points out, since the health sector is bound to respect the confidentiality of patients’ data.
Fréderique Lesaulnier, coordinator of the Health Department of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL), says that "the Internet can provide very useful services in the sphere of health, but it also carries new threats to the protection of personal data, owing to the risks of divulgation. In spite of the progress made, we must raise the level of security even more."
Vincent Trély, former security manager for the computing systems of Le Mans hospital and president of the Association for the Promotion of the Security of Health Data Systems (APSSIS), says that "the switch from paper to digital is irreversible but, in the health sector, it is being done very quickly and without a security culture, unlike banking or cutting-edge industry," sectors in which he has also worked. So, "what he fears above all is digital blackmail, already reported in the United States, using these sensitive data – since they can be easily exchanged for money-." He also has "the conviction that if a hacker got interested, thousands of files could be found in a week."