Stem Cell Bank Mistakenly Leaks Personal Information

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Over the past several years, an enormous number of data breach incidents involving medical providers and facilities have occurred. It is most curious to me that those who are genuinely dedicated to saving lives are so woefully inadequate when it comes to protecting those very lives from exposure to potential economic, emotional and criminal dislocation.

We are in the process of digitizing millions of medical records so that more and more people will have access to our sensitive personal and medical information in a national effort to make it easier and more efficient to save lives. That is a double-edged sword. Access without appropriate security protocols can easily lead to inappropriate exposure and significant negative ramifications.

For too long business and industry has been more covetous of their trade secrets and intellectual property than the protection of their most precious asset—the personal identifying information of patients, clients, customers and employees.

A few weeks ago, we recognized National Consumer Protection Week. Frankly, every week of the year should be National Consumer Protection Week. Hopefully, every hour of every day we begin to reflect upon ways to better protect the health, safety and welfare of the American public.

I have no doubt that this message has renewed meaning for the folks at CBR. Their clients, the government and the ultimate regulators of the American economic system—class action law suit attorneys—will be watching how this saga unfolds over the next twelve months with great interest.

This work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Adam Levin is chairman and cofounder of Credit.com. His experience as former director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs gives him unique insight into consumer privacy, legislation and financial advocacy. He is a nationally recognized expert on identity theft and credit.

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