Tuesday, December 11, 2012

ObamaCare Privacy Nightmare

In the 12/6/2012 USA Today, Parente and Howard warn of a "Potential ObamaCare privacy nightmare".

In particular:
ObamaCare's federal exchange, however, will be very different from these earlier efforts or emerging private exchanges such as eHealthInsurance.com. In order to determine eligibilty for health insurance subsidies, the new exchange has to bring together information about you and your family from the Treasury Department and IRS, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, as well as your Social Security number — all coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The data gathering is sensible, in the abstract. Similar information is collected when you apply for a mortgage. But when the constantly updated information is combined in a central data hub, the potential for abuse is staggering. For one thing, the hub will have all the details needed to steal identities and fraudulently access credit.
This centralized collection of medical and financial data will be a tempting target for malicious hackers.  Or for malicious government officials.

(Read the full text of "Potential ObamaCare privacy nightmare".  Stephen T. Parente is a finance professor at the University of Minnesota. Paul Howard is director of the Manhattan Institute's Center for Medical Progress.)