Does Sharing Imaging Data Unmask Patients’ Privacy?

It is common practice to share large sets of data for research purposes, which includes medical images such as MRI scans.  These MRI scan images are required to be de-identified (name of participant, date of the scan, etc.), but the facial images still remain accessible.  Using publicly available facial recognition software, a group of researchers at Mayo Clinic were able to correctly match patients with their MRI images 83% of the time. These findings bring up questions about and how to protect patients privacy and security in a time where technology has outpaced our laws.  It also raises concerns about the future of public data set sharing, and how to continue to recruit volunteers for studies.