Friday, May 20, 2005

Common sense, part II

On March 19th I posted this about Elisa D. Cooper who was being sued by Kaiser Permanente for publishing patient information on her blog in apparent retaliation for being fired by the health care giant. Late yesterday I received this email from Elisa.

Hi -

I'm the person that's been "squaring off" against

I did not sell, or attempt to sell, any patient
information on eBay. The reporter fell for an
insinuation Kaiser made in the lawsuit. I pointed out
to the reporter, Henry Lee, and I have complained to
the Chronicle about the error. The same reporter made
several major errors in a subsequent article as well.
They refuse to correct it despite the fact they
supposedly have an "immediate corrections" policy.

Your blog shows how when people read this stuff in a
reputable newspaper like the Chronicle, they just
assume it's true. From my own recent experience, I'm
never going to believe anything I see on the news and
read in the paper again. While you have no cause to
believe me one way or the other, I hope you will keep
your mind open to the idea that some reporters may be
choosing their "hot button issues" in advance, and
they look for the evidence to support that story -
even when that evidence isn't there.

--- Elisa
Today I took some time to read other publications' accounts of the story and learned that it is much more complicated than the San Francisco Chronicle made it appear. She had discovered patient data on a Kaiser website that was not firewall or password protected. She linked to it on her blog in an attempt to show how cavalier Kaiser was being with internet security.

As for trying to sell patient information on eBay, the Chronicle just might have made it up. It wouldn't be the first time.

Good luck with your battle, Elisa.

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