- Google has updated its removal policies, adding personal medical records to content it may remove from search results, Bloomberg reported.
- “Confidential, personal medical records of private people” joins revenge porn, Social Security numbers, bank account and credit card numbers and images of signatures on Google’s policy page.
- Personal medical records will only be deleted at an individual’s request, a Google spokeswoman told Bloomberg.
Google usually steers away from policing the web, but recent cyberattacks on healthcare organizations that exposed millions of individuals' personal data have raised concerns about the vulnerability of sensitive information and the need to protect it.
In 2015, hackers targeting Anthem stole the personal information of nearly 80 million members and employees. Last week, the health insurer agreed to pay $115 million to settle a class action lawsuit resulting from the breach. If approved, it would be the largest payout ever for a data breach settlement.
In a recent HIMSS survey, one-third of healthcare IT leaders said they are “highly concerned” they’ll be targeted by hackers. Nearly 80% said employee awareness is their greatest security threat concern, despite 85% having programs to promote security awareness.