Windows 10 Fax and HIPAA

Is Windows 10 free faxing/ scan HIPAA compliant?

I’m afraid I have only bad news and more bad news on this front. Not a lot is known about the actual data being tracked and filed by Microsoft with Windows 10, but several tech and security experts have investigated this and determined that the whole OS is not compliant with HIPAA at all. There is evidence that even with maximum privacy settings, Microsoft is still using data mining to collect information on users’ private searches, purchases, and interactions. A healthcare professional recently asked a similar question about Windows 10 and HIPAA-related security on the official Microsoft forum, and it was moved to the Discussion section instead of addressed. So there’s no clear answer out there yet.

Since Windows Fax and Scan comes bundled as part of this OS, one can only assume that it is subject to the same practices. Until we have a firm answer from Microsoft, I cannot confidently recommend using Windows 10 for faxing, especially when there are so many easy-to-use, affordable internet faxing services out there.

While some medical professionals are comfortable faxing via Microsoft, I’d err on the side of caution and use a standalone fax machine or internet fax service. On a related note, since Windows XP is no longer being officially supported by Microsoft, it’s vulnerable to security issues and I’m not confident about faxing over that operating system either. There are hefty fines for HIPAA violations, and a nurse or physician could even lose their professional license in some cases. In my opinion, it’s just not worth the risk.

Do you have a question about faxing? Send me your fax question.