I found this article quite frightening.. Although it’s more than a year old, I’m sure things are only worst than at the time Annie Macios wrote it.
The main idea is that companies that collected health information for their business purposes (like invoicing follow-up), and for which you gave your approval, then realised they could sell all this data. And they can do that legally without your knowledge or consent.
This medical information is circulating, being used for completely other purposes than for what they have been gathered in their beginning, and without any control, nor legal need of audit
There’s a company in Minnesota ‘Ingenix’ that provides all your prescriptions and other medical info to insurances companies. OK, it seems they request your agreement on giving the data, but are you really free to decide? If you don’t agree, they don’t insure you! And once they gave your info, nothing prevents the insurance company to re-sell it.. perhaps to your employer?
I extracted another of hers ideas:
She also points out that data mining creates the perfect scenario for identity theft because health records also include all the necessary information (Social Security number, birth date, address, etc) to open a bank account.
With all these possibilities, not to misuse data is only a question of willing… It’s time to rule about it, for how long can we count only on the goodness of humankind?