Privacy concerns at doctor's offices as 1 in 3 use unsafe web registration

The_Stethoscope,_Peru Alex Proimos Wikimedia commons

Nearly a third of Dutch doctor's offices do not use a safe connection for their patients' online registration or applications for repeat prescriptions, RTL Nieuws reports based on its own research among over 300 medical practices.

A total of 197 practices gives patients the option of online registration and requesting a repeat prescription over the internet. Of these 29.3 percent did not use a secure https connection when sending medical data. This means that this sensitive information was sent over the internet unprotected, making it relatively easy for third parties to access. 

According to the broadcaster, this can lead to misuse or identity fraud or hackers changing the dosage of repeat prescription. The online registration in particular involves risks, as it requires privacy sensitive information, including your name,, address and social security number. 

Dutch law requires that such information is protected by a secure connection, according to RTL. "We paid a lot of attention in recent ears to secure personal data with doctors", Wilbert Tomensen, vice president of the Dutch Personal Data Authority, said to the broadcaster. "Apparently the sense of urgency has not penetrated enough."