The coming problem with the ASP-lock

Here is an interesting post about a person who was locked out of their google account.

Apparently, this person lost access to:

  • Google Docs
  • Gmail
  • Family photos in Picasa

If you read the updated post, you will find that he has already gotten back in.

But this person knew to write a blog post. And knew how to get it covered by the most popular blog on the planet.

What if this person had a PHR using Google Health?

I am not trying spread FUD here. Google Health and HealthVault are good ideas and I generally support them. But these kinds of issues are going to become more and more important as time goes on.  Both Google and Microsoft have relatively fair ways of dealing with these kinds of issues, but “relatively fair” means there will be ways to fall between the cracks. Once we have PHR usage begins to go up, these kinds of issues will become extremely important.

(Update 09/29/09:  I am not the first person to point out that ASP EHR systems are a threat to the freedom of healthcare providers.  This short post is just to say that it impacts patients too)




One thought on “The coming problem with the ASP-lock

  1. Fortunately, this isn’t a new problem. It’s coming up in a new context, but ever since the advent of free internet services that store something for you (email, files, forums, hosting…) the rule of thumb has been that you’re getting something for nothing and therefore have no right to expect anything. Cover your own ass, do your own backups, and archive your content.

    The problem then becomes “How do we store all this?”. You’ve got to figure out how to extract your data (hopefully automatically, en masse, and regularly) from these services, store it, and then manage it as part of your normal backup process. Email and documents are a classic example, but how will GoogleHealth and HealthVault let you export your data?

    As for the story, will something like strong authentication help resolve or prevent such lockouts?

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