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Friday, December 14, 2012

HIPAA, Privacy, No Guaranties,


HIPAA, the Health Information, Privacy and Accountability Act, passed in  1996        (several hundred or more pages) was passed to insure the security of your medical data by hospitals, providers, employees and all those who come in contact with your confidential medical records. The Law also has several other provisions, unrelated to privacy and confidentiality.

Old obsolete, but effective way….shred or burn.

Modern Technology has eliminated the paper shredder, and now there are new electronic barriers and locks on data access.

Today criminals (or the government) can access your data from anywhere without breaking into your office or filing cabinets.


U.S. Terrorism Agency to Tap a Vast Database of Citizens

Now through a series of unrelated incidents the tide has swept in and  a new and possibly dangerous potential for a ‘seizure’ of your private information without warrants, or judicial approval.

(Wall Street Journal)

Top U.S. intelligence officials gathered in the White House Situation Room in March to debate a controversial proposal. Counterterrorism officials wanted to create a government dragnet, sweeping up millions of records about U.S. citizens—even people suspected of no crime.

Not everyone was on board. "This is a sea change in the way that the government interacts with the general public," Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer of the Department of Homeland Security, argued in the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

A week later, the attorney general signed the changes into effect.

The Wall Street Journal has reconstructed the clash over the counterterrorism program within the administration of President Barack Obama. The debate was a confrontation between some who viewed it as a matter of efficiency—how long to keep data, for instance, or where it should be stored—and others who saw it as granting authority for unprecedented  government surveillance of U.S. citizens.

The rules now allow the little-known National Counterterrorism Center to examine the government files of U.S. citizens for possible criminal behavior, even if there is no reason to suspect them. That is a departure from past practice, which barred the agency from storing information about ordinary Americans unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.

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