Don’t be Held Hostage by Your Own Encrypted Data

By: Marinus Kolkman | 10 Mar 2016

SOME software vendors Encrypt Data you own.

For the third time in recent months, I’ve encountered a troubling practice out there in the market. Three Dentists who decided to adopt a NEW Software as their practice management and clinical software solution were shocked to learn that their previous vendor was not readily prepared to let them go.

In all cases, the software vendor was insistent on charging the Dentist a $3,500 release fee to obtain the key to their own encrypted data!   The Dentists were upset, and our team was equally dismayed. If this is becoming the new normal, I have two things to say:

  1. I am embarrassed for the industry and would like to see this stopped.
  2. Until that happens, BUYER BEWARE!

Sophisticated, hack-proof encryption of your backed-up practice data is extremely important. It is a standard security measure that we take very seriously. Every software agreement you accept should include it. But read that agreement carefully: look for and ask about the conditions of data release for conversion.  My advice?

  • If there is any mention of a cost to have your data un-encrypted should you decide to transfer to another software, negotiate the cost away.
  • Should you encounter avoidance of the topic, insist that a clause be added to commit to a no-cost key to unencrypt your data.

If your vendor will not agree, walk away from the deal. Your power as a prospect is much greater than it will be as a departing customer.

 

By Marinus Kolkman, Senior Technology Specialist, iNETtechnologies Inc.

Share