Photos as Protected Health Information

April 24, 2013

Most people do not realize how much data a photograph from a smart phone carries. Even if the patient’s face is not pictured, a photo usually has a time stamp when it was taken and geo tagging revealing exactly where it was taken. Those two bits of information can be enough to identify the patient. And guess what that means? HIPAA violation, potential fines, and personnel action. Just a word of caution.