D now, an abc news investigation into the fact that some of your most personal, private information, your medical records, could be on sale right now on the internet. Our senior national correspondent... See More
D now, an abc news investigation into the fact that some of your most personal, private information, your medical records, could be on sale right now on the internet. Our senior national correspondent jim avila has found millions of these records. How is it possible? Who is behind it? And can be it prevented? Reporter: I've never met rafael, but I know his most private information. From social security number to insurance, even previous illnesses. They've got everything from my name, my address, everything. Reporter: I learned all that because his medical records are for sale against his wishes on the internet. I thought my medical records is one of the most confidential records. I'm shocked. I'm completely shocked. Reporter: Here's what rafael and millions of others do not know. Those confidential records supposedly protected by federal privacy laws just aren't. An abc news investigation has found thousands of patient electronic charts for sale. What is it the public doesn't know about their supposedly private medical records? Your private medical record may not be as private as you think. Reporter: Greg porter is a security specialist whtracks medical fraud. We asked him to show us how easy it is to buy private medical records on the dark side of the internet, with nothing more complicated than public wi-fi at a corner coffee shop. So we're just going to go to google here. WE CLICK ON ONE OF THESE URLs And let's see what will happen. So up pops some information. Reporter: And this took two clicks. We won't show you the details, but it's all here. An online price war. Each name for sale for $14 to $25 each. Diabetes patients sell for a premium. How'd they get here? Today's medical records are largely kept on computer. Often available to not just your doctor, but to every nurse, clerk and technician in the hospital. All it takes is one to sell to the black market. Valuable leads for medical equipment sales people focusing on diabetic patients who need insulin pumps or prescription drug sales people targeting heart patients with long term drug needs and their doctors. Plus, with all that personal information, it's also a medicare fraud gold mine. Now with thousands of employees who can download hundreds of thousands of patient records in an instant, fraud is going to be a growing threat. Reporter: The federal government has rules against the unauthorized release of medical records, but admits it's you a la that suffered nearly 500 large scale breeches, exposing at least 21 million records, diane. Thank you, jim. And now, we want to bring everyone up to date on a development in another story we covered here. Reporter: Yes, diane, bpi, the makers of what the meat industry calls lean finely textured beef, which a former usda scientist dubbed pink slime filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit against abc news, saying our reporting has misled the public about its product and caused it great damage. In a statement, abc news said the lawsuit is without merit and we will contest it vigorously. Diane? Thank you, jim.
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