Vancouver Coastal Health Ignores Warnings of Wireless Paging System Transmitting Sensitive Patient Data

Vancouver Coastal Health Ignores Warnings that Wireless Paging System Transmitting Sensitive Patient Data

Vancouver, BC hospitals routinely wirelessly broadcast unencrypted patient telemetry and admissions data to physician paging systems, and, apparently, it would be a trivial matter to intercept such transmissions. The Canadian activist group Open Privacy Research Society bought this matter to the attention of Vancouver Coastal Health in 2018, and after a year of inaction, the privacy group went public with the complaint.
Badly in Need of Technical Modernization
The privacy activist report portrays Vancouver Coastal Health in bad shape when it comes to technical wherewithal, data protection, and privacy, noting that the hospital privacy officers are “unaware of the radio broadcasting component of the pager system(s).” Additionally, they reported that the paging system doesn’t log third-party access, reports Boing Boing. The publication did report that spokespersons “blithely asserted that no breach had taken place.” Could these allegations be true? If so, why wouldn’t they respond and remediate?
Demands for Disclosure
Open Privacy Research Society is not certain as to the scope or scale of the how many have been impacted by potential data protection and privacy breaches. They bel...

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