Monday, February 11, 2008

Privacy concerns mount amid the 'microchipping of America': Businesses seek patents on more applications for RFID

RFID chips are being used more and more in health care. Today the main use proposed is to track whether you receive "authentic" or "fake" medications. The US pharmaceutical industry wants to track whether or not we take and refill brand-name medications. But this is a huge intrusion into the relationship we have with our doctors. If you don't want to take a medication for whatever reason: side-effects, costs, fears, feeling it does not work, etc------the person to discuss this with is your doctor, not a drug company! There are many valid reasons to change or stop medications. The only people qualified to decide whether you should stay on a particular medication or not are you and your doctor.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Health Record Paparazzi is Above the Law and In Bed With Congress

We learned today that all of us are a bit like George Clooney: the Health Record Paparazzi loves a celebrity, but it loves the average American just as well. Instead of intrusive cameras flashing and TMZ taping our every move, we have insurers, employers, hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, drug companies, marketers, creditors and banks digging around for our most personal, intimate information.

HIPAA protects no one, including movie stars. The HIPAA regulations were changed by a Bush appointee that defy the ancient doctor-patient promise that when a patient goes to their doctor, whatever they share will be kept private. No one can make that guarantee anymore. To see the fine print visit Patient Privacy Rights.

Over 4 million individuals and businesses can see and use our health records, without consent and over objections. HIPAA is so broad it is hard to imagine who doesn’t have a legal right to your most personal details.

The Health Record Paparazzi can be stopped -- but only by an act of Congress. Right now, Congress is working on legislation that will open up your health records even more. Everyone will have control over your health information except the patient.

We must have federal legislation that guarantees our right to control our most personal information and requires meaningful, enforceable penalties for everyone who shares our information without consent.