Online ventures depend on the public's trust that personal information will be kept confidential. IP addresses can in fact be traced back to individual computers with additional information from Internet service providers (ISPs). User names can be cross-referenced with other social networking sites to see if names are repeated.
The newly launched Google Health, an online platform for storing medical records, might be hamstrung by this development. The idea is to have a centralized repository of health information, medical charts and prescriptions for patients and doctors to access. For anyone frustrated with the disorganization of the Canadian medical system, this might seem like a welcome initiative.
If an organization could prove that certain medical information was relevant to a legal case, it might conceivably get access to such data.