ThoughtShades FrameWork

Essays, Themes, Opinions

Constructs, Practical Ideas, Applications

Poetry, Impression Writing

Sermons, Devotions

Personal Revelations, Illustrations

Viewpoint: Politics, Contemporary Issues, Editorials


Choice Offerings by Others

Powered by Squarespace
« Fearing the Wrong Enemy | Main | Behavior in the House of God »

Massive Invasion of Privacy

This week, our group health insurance provider issued some demands that call for details about our personal life, health and financial records, including Social Security numbers.  Cloaked in a lame disclaimer that this information is necessary, they nevertheless demand compliance from us or we risk losing our insurance.  No is not an option. 

Why do they say they need this information which amounts to a massive invasion of privacy?  To aid “employees applying for medical coverage.”  That’s it!  They evidently are counting on the colossal ignorance of their clientele about the meteoric rise in identity theft, about hackers breaking into IT systems that are “guaranteed” to be secure, about glitches and breakdowns in hardware and software, and about unscrupulous employees who access the databases for their personal gain.  On one hand, we are told by authorities that if you don’t want something to be seen on the internet, don’t put it up there, and, on the other hand, give them your most private and personal records and trust them implicitly that they will be careful with them.  

Paragraph after paragraph is written to convince us that the provider will protect the information from any illegal or unwarranted use.  Yet, the company also warns us about “hoax emails that look authentic and appear to have been sent by a company you recognize.”  This is tantamount to recognizing that a real danger exists that the information may be compromised, but, if it is, we should not blame them.  In addition, they admit that they might “sell, merge or transfer any part of our business,” and “part of the sale may include the transfer of your personal information.”  

The provider also informs us that they might “enter into contracts with third parties who assist us in servicing you.”  Precautions are supposedly taken to insure that personal information is secure, but, if it is not, the very inclusion of the paragraph is a legal instrument to let them off the hook.  Why?  Because, in such an event, they can always say, “we told you this might happen and you signed the documents anyway!”  Shame on us. 

Here is the information requested:

Information about yourself:

  • Date of birth
  • Date of marriage
  • Address, phone
  • Height, weight
  • Name and phone number of primary care physician
  • Employer’s name, occupation, date of hire, hours worked per week
  • With life insurance, income reported by W2 or 1099

Information about dependents:

  • Full legal name(s)
  • Dates of birth
  • Social Security numbers
  • Heights and weights
  • Names and numbers of primary care physicians

Prior existing medical coverage:

  • Policy holder’s name and SSN
  • Expiration date
  • Name, address, phone of carrier
  • Policy number
  • Effective dates of coverage
  • Coverage type (medical, dental, etc.), who is covered
  • Names of covered individuals

Information about any medical conditions:

  • Condition name
  • Treatment dates
  • Medications and doses
  • Other relevant details 

If this invasion of privacy is totally necessary to serve the client, the case should be made in a much stronger and more convincing way.  If the information required is absolutely essential, I suspect it is not to serve the client, but to control him.  I believe that a governmental agency is behind it all.  There is no other reason for such details to be submitted. 

This whole process has a chilling effect on me.  More and more, I have credible reasons to be afraid of my government.  I am being boxed in incrementally, and soon I will have no freedom to act as I wish.  Those dismissive of my fears need to study the governmental evolution of totalitarian states.  One “reasonable” change after another eventually leads to an unreasonable existence.  Little by little, demand by demand, file by file, the system is pushing the noncompliant into non-personhood.  If you are not in their database, you don’t exist.  My question persists:  why this massive invasion of privacy?  

It appears that the only mistake that George Orwell made in his sinister prediction of “Big Brother” in his classic, “1984” is the date.  He should have entitled it “2012.”

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

Excellent commentary and analysis portraying the unfolding of Bible prophecy... moving at warp speed. The loss of privacy... the subtle beginning. The Mark of the Beast... surely will be sold to the people as a necessary counter-terrorism/Homeland Security measure, illegal immigration control tool and healthcare control requirement. All of the above shall begin in a less imposing way... and will end up as a massive data base that tracks your every move and knows everything about you. Again, nothing better than a permanentized mark on the forehead or hand to augment such a international system. God help us all. Jesus is coming soon!

February 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMark Welch

In my capacity at my last job, I administered some databases that contained highly sensitive personal information, including SSN's and credit data. These highly personal data are encrypted and there are industry requirements -- as well as government regulations -- which protect the privacy of this data by requiring a number of very detailed security measures, including encryption, physical protection of the data, as well as several layers of network protection.

There are severe penalties, at least to the company and I worked for and its employees such as myself, for any misuse of this data, or even for accidental mishandling. We were vigilant and no data were compromised at any time -- at least to our knowledge, and auditing requirements help facilitate that as well.

Nonetheless, as you know, there are unfortunate incidents where data out there has been compromised, and there are disclosure requirements and regulations when that happens, and we do unfortunately hear about that in the news from time to time.

Privacy of our personal data is of continuing concern, for certain, and the industry and governments have done a lot to ensure that it is protected and that when it is not, that there are severe penalties; however, as you know, the last line of defense is ultimately good moral character, because the data does need to exist in unencrypted form for SOME time -- the time when it is written on a piece of paper by you or I filling out a form, for example, or when it is on the screen of the person reviewing or using the data for whatever permissible purpose they have (and there are specific permissible purposes, too) in order to execute some action, and in any of those times when it is in "plain text", there is no getting around the fact that we have to trust the people who see it to abide by this: "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

The bottom line is that morality, founded on the two commandments Jesus taught us were the greatest, have to be followed or there is mischief.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTim Garcia

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>