Thursday, December 15, 2005

One small step for a state, one giant leap for Big Brother

N.Y. Adopts Code to Monitor Diabetics

New York is requiring medical labs to provide the results of blood tests for a database of diabetics. The state will use the database to telephone diabetics to nag them about not maintaining their blood sugar levels as well as the state thinks they should.

New York's health commissioner says "We will ensure that the utmost care will be taken to keep people's privacy and information protected." He went on to say "People skittish about their privacy will be allowed to opt out of the program." Details on how that would work, however, are still being developed.

I interpret that to mean that not only will your private, confidential medical information be shared with strangers, but it will be nearly impossible to remove your information from the database. The temptation will be great to reap financial rewards by sharing that data with HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, etc. It will only be a matter of time before an insider sells your private information.