Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Time is Short; The Squaliformes are Hungry

As predicted here back in November of 2004, the Squaliformes have been drooling and are about to get what they’ve long coveted:

What most people don't realize, but more will as we age and come into contact with the healthcare delivery system in this country, medical records are an almost un-tapped ocean of personal information from which the squaliformes can make judgments about you.

Demographic profiling of medical records will allow them to analyze new risk factors and develop scores based on things like lifestyle choices, illnesses, even dietary patterns. And the data is already being collected and analyzed for the life and medical insurance Squaliformes by MIB (formerly known as the Medical Information Bureau).

So if you go to your doctor and get treated for say, alcoholism, don't you think your auto insurer would be interested in that? You bet your a** they are. And with health insurance reform coming down the pike in Washington this next session, don't be surprised if you wake up one morning and find out they've already started sharing MIB reporting data on you for things other than medical insurance claims fraud detection.

The Squaliformes are ready to trade almost anything to get around the limits on actually using the information they already have and continue to collect. It's too late to stop the collection (your medical records are routinely sent to MIB), so now it all comes down to trying to keep them from using it for something other than the purposes they say they use it for.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

The FACT Act turned the sensitive issue of what to do about formerly private medical information over to the agencies responsible for making the rules. But of course, the Squaliformes have been holding the hands of the sleeping watchdogs in Washington for decades, and they're essentially writing those rules for the obtaining, sharing and use of medical information in credit eligibility decisions and more.

The “interim final rules” from the OCC, FRB, FDIC, OTS and the NCUA have been published and the public (read: future victims) have until only until July 11th of this month to comment.

The sleeping watchdogs’ view of the “Let the Squaliformes Hunt as They See Fit” rules and how to comment about them are here:

http://www.federalreserve.gov/boarddocs/press/bcreg/2005/20050606/attachment.pdf

It’s big – 110 pages, but it doesn't take a lot of time to download. (Nothing like making the victims work under a deadline to try to save themselves.)

A quick summary (quoting now):

“The interim final rules create exceptions to the statute's general prohibition on creditors obtaining or using medical information pertaining to a consumer in connection with any determination of the consumer's eligibility, or continued eligibility, for credit for all creditors. The exceptions permit creditors to obtain or use medical information in connection with credit eligibility determinations where necessary and appropriate for legitimate purposes, consistent with the Congressional intent to restrict the use of medical information for inappropriate purposes. The interim final rules also create limited exceptions to permit affiliates to share medical information with each other without becoming consumer reporting agencies.”
Legitimate? Necessary? Appropriate? They're making their own definitions.

The pages and the industry’s guidance in the design of the rules are the road map to the final destination: The destruction of the last vestiges of personal privacy.

Unfortunately, we’ve sat back and let them compile everything they ever wanted and are suddenly waking up to the fact that it is now probably too late to stop them. Not only is our personal financial information now bantered about without any real penalty to the perpetrators, that information blended with our medical history will be so valuable that no amount of supposed protection is going to keep it out of determined hands.

This onerous step is being taken to simply gut the FACT Act and establish a profiling system that has already been modeled for demonstration purposes.

Within that ponderous 110 pages are the legal definitions of what the Squaliformes want to be authorized to do; but we know from experience they will step far beyond the rules when it suits their purposes - especially when they get to define the purposes.

And we know any penalties for misuse (covert or otherwise) will be so infinitesimal as to not make them worry about it.

And if you think fixing a Squaliforme-enabler data broker’s contaminated credit database is unnerving and costly, wait until you find out you didn’t get a job because of the prescriptions you were supposedly issued.

If you don’t think it’s worth your time to respond, This Court hopes you are one of the very blessed few who never have a health problem.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

1 comment:

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