Thursday, December 29, 2016

Are your documents in cloud being read by the employees of cloud providers?

Recently I received an email from Evernote saying that they are changing their privacy policy something to the effect that probably their employees will now have access to my notes.
Naturally this created a furore in the whole market, as well as inside me. I had slowly been weaning myself off Evernote ever since they'd come up with the idea that one user can have only 2 devices to be synced; and trying to almost force the users to subscribe to a paid plan.
It is understandable that a company needs to earn, and therefore tries various ways to make its users become paid users. And being free users, people like me can be/ will be labelled as free loaders. Our opinion may not be taken seriously, since we do not contribute to revenue directly. But at the same time, it is actually the user-base which creates the deemed value of a company like Evernote, and makes it look lucrative to be bought by some giant.
So when they started the slow process of strangling their users, I also started slowly migrating away from Evernote.
I tried Onenote to some disappointing experiences; and then also tried Google Keep, which will grow up one day, I am sure. But the privacy policy change, which was later retracted in the face of public outcry, was the last straw for me. I migrated all my notes out of Evernote and then imported them into one-note. I deleted all my notes from Evernote trash also, and then deactivated the account.
Two things that still concern me are:
1. We all know that 'delete' in computers doesn't really delete anything. It just marks them as deleted. So is it possible that all my deleted notes are still sitting on the Evernote servers, and since I have deactivated my account, my notes have no legal binding left as private either, and now Evernote is completely free to access those deleted notes and do whatever they want with that? This scares the shit out of me. We are all aware that Google reads our emails, but then we are also aware that Google employees don't read emails personally; only the Machines do. Evernote had publicly tried to give access to our notes to its employees. What will prevent them from reading those deleted notes?
2. Trying to use onenote and Google Keep also comes with the same problem. Tomorrow, nothing will prevent these companies from using my notebook/ my notes in the same way.
What is the solution around this?
One possibility that comes to mind is to create notes that are encrypted by a solution like boxcryptor and kept on the Internet. This can be done with any cloud provider e.g Box, google drive, Dropbox etc. so that tomorrow if dropbox decides to snoop on my files, all they will get is encrypted gibberish.
The other option is to have a kind of application which uses my private cloud for storing data. As an example I have a private cloud installed at home and I usually use it to access it for my movies, music etc. while travelling. But if I have an application that is able to work on my laptop and my mobile, while storing all my notes on my private cloud only, and not giving access to those notes to the company that makes the application, it would probably be the best solution.
But for now I am just scared and trying to find a good solution overall.
Maybe boxcryptor* will get lucky and I will buy a premium paid subscription. Suggestions are welcome.
Dr Saurabh Bhatia
*I have no stake in any of these companies mentioned here. Just a free user of almost all of them.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Creating automated Visit Summary from EMR

This video is a guide to EMR vendors about how to create an automated visit summary or discharge summary for the hospitals' patients