Easy Data Access Plus Security

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As I type this, I've got my right leg propped up on a stool. That's because if I sit for any length of time with the knee bent, I have a great deal of pain on standing. Seems there's something horribly wrong with my knee. I still don't know what yet. I've had an MRI done. In theory, I can even go and look at my MRI. I know this because of the helpful email the hospital system sent me.

"Click here to get access to your patient records"

Only, when I click there, I can't get to my patient records. Seems you have to create an account. Only, you can't create one without a record from the hospital. A paper record. One that they have never given to me. So, all my information is available, but locked away because the security setup is silly.

I believe in two things, that shouldn't be diametrically opposed, but they frequently are. First, I think systems should be locked up nice & tight. Security matters way more than most people seem to care about it. Second, I think that everyone should have access to their own data. Whatever that data is and wherever it lives, I should be able to get to it.

Now, these two things shouldn't be fighting with each other. But, as you can see from my situation listed above, they frequently do. As technologists, we tend to err too far in one direction or another. Either we set up systems that are so open, anyone can hack them and walk away with all our data, or, we clamp it down so tight no one can access anything. As technologists, we must strive for that balance that lets people have easy (or at least easier) access to their data, but we still protect everything. It can be done. It just takes time & effort.

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