The patient database of the private health clinic that conducts STD tests for California’s porn industry has been breached, exposing test results and personal details about thousands of current and former porn performers, some of which have been published on a Wikileaks-style website (via Gawker).
This brings up a few issues:
- There is a group of people, porn stars, who are “internet famous”
- Hackers seem to care about them because porn is obviously a controversial issue and notoriety would be gained if they accessed their HIV status (they’re bored)
- A well-meaning group with limited security means is in charge of sought after, controversial data
This situation was bound to happen. But to the average person, health privacy is irrelevant. Nobody cares about Bob Smith’s or Suzie Jones’ medical history. Now that health insurance companies won’t be able to discriminate against all people due to pre-existing conditions (thank you Obamacare), who has the interest and resources to go after the average person’s medical data? But what about employers? Wouldn’t they want to save money by not hiring Type 1 Diabetics, for example? Not so much, now that the pre-existing condition concept is becoming no longer a cost issue, even employers won’t care enough to spend money and resources on hacking medical data. And, of course, they wouldn’t want to suffer the legal consequences of getting caught.
But the real question is this:
What would be worse, a breach of your bank account or a breach of your medical records about your last visit to the doctor?
Photo by me…I took this photo of Andy San Dimas in 2007 while I was living in Baltimore, prior to her porn days, and being crowned Female Performer of the Year.