Beverly Rollins of Maryland didn't worry about her private medical records until last month. She asked her doctor's office for a copy of them.
"I said, 'Hi, I'm here to pick up my medical records.' 'Oh, here you go.' They didn't even ask to see my ID or anything," Rollins said.
Medical privacy is getting extra attention right now because of the growth in electronic health records.
The government is providing financial incentives to hospitals that go paperless by the end of 2015.
The U.S. Department of Health said of the 5,000 hospitals nationwide that accept Medicare and Medicaid, 84 percent use electronic health records.
Dr. Deborah Peel is a practicing psychiatrist and the founder of a group called Patient Privacy Rights.
Peel said the technology allows more sharing of private health information without defining exactly who has access. She says there are not enough protections for patients.
"Our ethics require us to fight against laws that harm our patients," Peel said.
Back in 2003, the US Department of Health wrote new medical privacy laws.
In the fine print and the forms, it states doctors can share medical records with anyone involved in a patient's treatment, payment, and healthcare operations, which covers labs, pharmaceutical companies, and more.
"We don't know the risks, if we don't know where the information is. We don't know who is using it and why," Peel said. When a reporter first requested an interview with official with the U.S. Department of Health on these concerns, officials agreed.
However, when the reporter didn't provide questions in advance, officials changed their mind.
"They thought it would just be so much easier if data flowed that you would send it yourself. But the catch is most of us wouldn't send our data to all these places. We would never agree to it," Peel said.
She said companies have admitted to buying health records online to determine whether or not to hire or promote employees, even though that's illegal.
"And I really think when the public finds this out, they're going to blame the doctors," Peel said.
The next question, Peel said, is if the government gives doctors the right to share health records, what personal, private information is next.