Patient records held to ransom!

Data thieves are threatening to release millions of patient records held by a U.S. prescription drug management company unless the company pays up. The continuing investigation, backed by an offer of a $1 million dollar reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the crooks, stems from an event made public in November. Express Scripts, a large company that manages prescription-drug benefits, reported that both it and its clients had received letters threatening to reveal customer information–including Social Security numbers, addresses, dates of birth, and prescription information–if certain extortion demands were not met….

These high profile events are triggering drives to improve privacy legislation in the U.S., this includes hi-tech companies such as Symantec and Microsoft and Google that have joined groups such as the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) that have sounded alarms on several privacy-related issues before the U.S. Congress and federal agencies.

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