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Potential jail time and exorbitant fines are usually associated with immoral individuals who knowingly try to deceive people and do them harm physically, emotionally, and/or financially. They are the people that you see paraded into courtrooms waiting for the justice system to rightfully punish their indiscretions.

They are conmen, swindlers, and thieves.

They are not typically doctors, nurses, and dentists.

Unless, of course, they violate the powerful HIPAA laws, knowingly or unknowingly.

The federal government takes an individual’s right to privacy seriously by levying substantial fines and possible jail time for HIPAA law violations. A single infraction can result in a fine between $100 and $50,000 (Brown, 2014). Also, depending on the severity of the violation and the knowledge of wrongdoing by the offender, jail time can be assigned (Litton, 2018).

So, should this be a cause for concern? Well, if you work in the healthcare industry and utilize Verizon as your carrier, you may be violating those sacred HIPAA laws.

The Verizon Cloud feature is offered to customers for free for the first 30 days. However, in what seems to be standard operating procedure for Verizon, the onus of responsibility for opting out of the Cloud falls upon the customer. Then, a minimum of 5 dollars per month is charged for this feature that backs up documents, photos, contact numbers, call logs, etc. However, the Verizon Cloud is not HIPAA compliant. Anyone in the medical field that uses their Verizon phone to access health records or any other patient data is at risk of violating HIPAA laws. Also, if the customer manually updates their phone or if the Cloud software is set to update automatically, HIPAA laws have been breached.

In the end, the 5 bucks a month Verizon looks to pocket from the Cloud subscription is more important to them than preventing thousands of dollars in fines and potential jail time for their customers. There definitely seems to be a lack of transparency among their fees and features.

It is unfortunate that those tasked with protecting others’ well being is forced to work so hard to protect themselves from their carrier.

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