Pharmacies don’t keep patient information safe from hackers

Private information about patients is ‘there for the taking’ at some Dutch pharmacies, according to a new report by the privacy watchdog CBP, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Local authority and amusement park data bases are also extremely vulnerable to hackers, the watchdog says. The CPB looked at 15 public and private organisations in terms of their data protection levels. Nine investigations are still under way.
‘We were shocked by the results. The most simple rules for good security are not being followed,’ CBP chairman Jacob Kohnstamm told the paper. The organisation did not release the names of the failing organisations.
Most firms made data leaks possibly by not using secure website addresses or properly protecting passwords, the CPB is quoted as saying.
Kohnstamm said companies must realise they have to invest in internet security, despite the costs involved. ‘The security of private details on the internet must have top priority,’ he said.
Last December, health minister Edith Schippers reached agreement with health insurers, pharmacies and patients’ organisations for the development of a central data base of patient records.
Previous efforts to set up a similar system were condemned by the CBP because of the privacy aspects.