'Hidden' PHI in Medical Images Poses Risks


Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Patient identifiers embedded in medical images used for online presentations are at risk of inadvertent discovery by advanced web-crawling technologies in search engines, three radiology associations warn.

"Advances in web-crawling and content processing technology employed by search engine vendors - for example Google, Bing and others - increasingly enable large-scale information extraction from previously stored files," warns the recent alert from the American College of Radiology, the Radiological Society of North America and the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine.

"Among other things, this technology can...

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