July 27, 2011
Everyone does it! Go to the grocery store and use your savings card and someone knows when and what you buy. Order off the internet and your preferences are logged, collated, and used to “target” market you and your family. My bet is that, every time you swipe any card anywhere, a digital fingerprint is recorded, processed; and sold to companies who use the data as they see fit. Is it really necessary for corporate America to know when you menstruate and what kind of pad you use? I think not!
Yesterday I addressed “Medicine’s Dirty Little Secret”. In the past, I have written about Medicare’s lust for information and the number of “clicks” necessary to meet the government’s demands. I have written about medicine by “protocol” (http://livewellthy.org/2011/04/27/round-peg-in-a-square-hole.aspx) and the cost of today’s bureaucracy (http://livewellthy.org/2011/07/17/the-cost-of-beauracracy.aspx.). I have written about the dehumanization of medicine (http://livewellthy.org/2011/05/18/dehuminization.aspx).
The extra clicks Medicare requires your doc to do, the codes insurers require your doc to provide, are data that is being mined for gold. Unfortunately, you don’t get to share in that gold. That gold is money that shows up on the insurers’ stock report as profits and those profits are used to mine for more gold. That gold is being used by Medicare to manipulate the care you receive and, therefore, to lessen their expenditures by creating protocols that ultimately will ration care (http://covertrationingblog.com/).
So much for HIPAA and medical privacy. The other dirty little secret in medicine is that your information is not only shared with others, but it is used to create “evidence” that will impact the care you will receive in the future. Do I sound paranoid? A little paranoia can be a good thing. I often refer to the movie “Soylent Green.” In that society, everything a citizen did was known to the government. Science fiction? I don’t think so!
I think a lot of people know too much about all of us. It’s one thing to know what brand of tuna I buy and “target” market me with spam. It’s quite another thing to know about my sexual life or my family’s intricacies.
So, how do we protect our privacy? One answer is to stop selling it. You sell your privacy for the savings you receive at your local grocer when you use their rewards card. You chose to do that and you can choose to stop doing it. We sell our privacy when we use our credit card. You can opt to pay in cash rather than accumulate miles. Again, it’s your choice. What about your most personal information. That’s the conundrum.
As long as we rely on insurers and Medicare for our medical care, we sacrifice our privacy. The difference is that now you know what you are giving up! It’s your choice. What’s your privacy worth to you? What’s the risk of the government or the puppet masters (insurers) knowing everything there is to know about you? That’s the big question!