Warning To Users of Apple's OS X Yosemite

Warning: If you are a business that deals with healthcare related issues, products, documents, or data, like lawyers or healthcare providers, it is important that you read this.

Recently Apple released a new OS X software called Yosemite. One of its features is something they like to call Continuity. Continuity allows you to start working in a document on your Mac and finish it on your iPhone later with no disruption in document saving.

It’s a software feature that lets you use your iPhone, iPad, and Mac interchangeably, for almost any task,” said Taylor Martin at PocketNow.com. “Answer an incoming phone call on your iPhone using your iPad or Mac, load the same web page you have open in Safari on your Mac on your iPhone, or load the spreadsheet you’ve been editing on your iPad on the Mac, all without having to sift through dozens icons and other files.”

For the home consumer or small business client, this might be a great thing. But there is one particular client type that should be very careful when using this feature.

Let Us Explain Why

Warning To Users of Apple's OS X YosemiteThe way Continuity works is a little complicated. When you are working on a document, like a spreadsheet, it is automatically uploaded to Apple’s iCloud servers. This means everything you type, almost instantly with each keystroke goes to iCloud.

If you are a healthcare provider, lawyer, or business associate that deals with healthcare related issues or documents – for example workers comp – you could be liable for breach of data if you use this software. These clients have to be extremely careful where their data is stored and where it shipped because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The HIPAA Privacy Rule provides federal protections for individually identifiable health information held by covered entities and their business associates and gives patients an array of rights with respect to that information. At the same time, the Privacy Rule is balanced so that it permits the disclosure of health information needed for patient care and other important purposes,” according to HHS.gov.

Business associates now must meet the privacy and security rules of HIPAA just like doctors, hospitals and health insurance providers, according to the final ‘omnibus’ rule the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Jan. 17,” said Brian T. Horowitz with EWeek.com.

If you are a lawyer or business that deals with healthcare related issues, documents, or data, please contact Enstep today about the proper way to install and setup Apple’s OS X Yosemite software or we can provide an alternative for data storage in the cloud that is already HIPAA and hitech complaint, such as EnstepSync.