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Online medical platforms are playing fast and loose, collecting patient data

Digital IDs are being generated and sensitive medical data is being shared with third parties by online health platforms in India

“I had gone to an ENT clinic in Chennai for a routine checkup. At the reception, they collected my personal details at the reception in a ledger. I was not told that it will be uploaded to a cloud application. When I returned home after the check up, I got a text message saying that my details have been uploaded on a private platform and added to its database,” said Chennai-based Ramraj, a 28-year-old employee at a private company. Ramraj’s account is part of an increasingly-concerning trend of private online medical platforms, in this case Bengaluru-based DocOn Technologies, uploading sensitive details such as health records on their platforms and creating a common health ID without allegedly taking consent of patients. This is also happening irrespective of whether the patient had any interaction with the said platforms prior, during or after their consultation. The message that Ramraj received from DocOn Meanwhile, Ramraj faces a dilemma. DocOn Technologies’ privacy policy states that one can request them to remove their medical record. “Firstly no consent was not taken from me. Secondly, to remove the data I still have to provide my email ID to them; which I do not want to,” he said. MediaNama reached out to the co-founder and grievance officer of DocOn Technologies, Nishant Anthwal with specific queries over email. Other than an automated reply which said that our queries had been registered, we have not yet received any response. This health ID creation gains further importance because the privacy policies…

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Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

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