Privacy

Florida Officials Downplay Leak of Private Information from Prescription Monitoring Database

How could concentrating confidential information in one place go wrong?

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TALLAHASSEE — Sometimes it takes a large net to catch a few wrong-doers. And that's one of the concerns when it comes to large government databases that are searched to find smelly fish.

But that's exactly what happened when 3,300 Floridians recently had their private prescription-drug information turn up in the hands of Volusia County criminal attorneys.

Instead of providing answers as to how the breach occurred, the Florida Department of Health is offering a workshop on July 8, for the public to express their privacy concerns.

In a statement, DOH praised the prescription-drug monitoring program that requires health care providers to report sensitive recipient information each time certain prescriptions are filled — anything from pain killers to cough syrup with codeine. DOH also says it is enhancing its privacy safeguards.