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Medicine Privacy

Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients 162

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the records-indicate-you-don't-deserve-care dept.
schwit1 (797399) sends word of a new and exciting use for all of the data various entities are collecting about you. From the article: You may soon get a call from your doctor if you've let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of ordering out for pizza or begin shopping at plus-sized stores. That's because some hospitals are starting to use detailed consumer data to create profiles on current and potential patients to identify those most likely to get sick, so the hospitals can intervene before they do. Acxiom Corp. (ACXM) and LexisNexis are two of the largest data brokers who collect such information on individuals. They say their data are supposed to be used only for marketing, not for medical purposes or to be included in medical records. While both sell to health insurers, they said it's to help those companies offer better services to members.
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Hospitals Begin Data-Mining Patients

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  • by robstout (2873439) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:35AM (#47323725)
    I'm alright with my doctor having this information, in theory, but I really don't trust the insurance companies with this. "So, I see that you like taco bell. We're raising your rates."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I doubt they know what to actually do with this data other than tell you to exercise more and eat better.

      • by robstout (2873439)
        Or alternately, they see that you do exercise and eat well, then why are your cholesterol levels bad? At the very least, it's good to have that as a baseline.
      • by jythie (914043)
        Actually one of the things they are planning to do with it is figure out which patients are at risk for complications and thus receive extra assistance like in home checkups or keeping them under observation longer. It is a big part of trying to battle readmission rates after surgery or other care since those kinds of complications tend to be the most life threatening and expensive to deal with.
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      by BitZtream (692029)

      You're wrong, you shouldn't trust your doctor AT ALL. Your life/health and privacy are far too important to do so.

      Your doctor is no better of a person than anyone at the insurance company.

      You need to understand that every single person at a hospital is also a person, not some mythical creature who actually cares about you.

      99.9% of the doctors created today are just as scummy as anyone else. The age where doctors cared has not existed during my life time, if it ever did. The hippocratic oath is a joke at

      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by sribe (304414)

        99.9% of the doctors created today are just as scummy as anyone else. The age where doctors cared has not existed during my life time, if it ever did. The hippocratic oath is a joke at best, nothing more than lip service.

        You're so full of shit it's coming out of your mouth instead of your asshole.

        • by CreatureComfort (741652) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:21AM (#47324109)
          Nurse Joke: "You know what you call the guy who graduated last in his class at medical school? Doctor."

          Angie's List was created because separating the lousy doctors from the very few good ones is almost impossible. The AMA has lobbied successfully to make it illegal for a patient to find out the malpractice history of physicians.

          If you're looking for a new doctor, the best thing you can do is talk to some local nurses. They know which ones are on the ball, and which ones are flat out dangerous.
          • by PJ6 (1151747)

            The AMA has lobbied successfully to make it illegal for a patient to find out the malpractice history of physicians.

            This may be true for your state, but not in MA. You can go here to review the profile of any physician that has ever been registered in the state of Massachusetts [state.ma.us]. These profiles include malpractice, disciplinary action, and criminal history. This information is primary and authoritative; the site that hospitals and other healthcare providers use to check on their doctors, and what the public sees, is one in the same. In addition, anyone is allowed to call the Board of Medicine to request specific details a

        • by robstout (2873439)
          If you don't trust your doctor, why do you go to him or her? They need access to sensitive information about you to properly diagnose issues, and to spot trends. Do you refuse to answer the questions they ask prior to every visit? Do you hold back family history of illness? Well then, good luck on catching something before it kills you.
        • by LoRdTAW (99712)

          Thank you for that medically astute observation Dr sribe.

        • by ichthus (72442) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @11:22AM (#47324675) Homepage

          You're so full of shit it's coming out of your mouth...

          No, you're full of shit. And, to prove it, I'll now provide exactly twice as much evidence as you did to the contrary:


          ...

      • by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:17AM (#47324073)

        I write medical imaging software, surounded by dozens of doctors every day that are not just out of earshot of the patients but sometimes not even in the same country. My sample size is obviously not representative of much at all, though at least in my tiny corner of the world the situation is the total opposite of what you describe. These people sigh and get upset when they see terminal disease, they cry when children are dying, they don't enjoy seeing people hurt and don't waste a second if it means life or death. They are often detached but they still care.

        Don't mistake the human factor for doctors that are worried about getting sued because someone broke their pinky finger and had to wait for the guy having a heart attack to be treated first.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I work IT at a large practice for a specific uncommon specialty. It employs 30+ doctors. There's quite a range of different types... I don't know if it's representative of doctors as a whole but it is humanizing indeed.

          There's the ancient high-brow jerk who disdains to speak with a "computer nerd with no degree" but the guy knows his medicine, despite the attitude. There's the cute lady who muddles through just barely, but has great "people skills". There's the hot-shot european-educated surgeon with a

      • I do not trust my doctor because they are a doctor. I trust my doctor for the same reason I trust my mechanic, because they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. The primary reason I do not trust my insurance company is because I do not actually know any of the individuals who work there, let alone the ones who might be making decisions about what to do with my personal infor.
      • by g01d4 (888748)

        Your basic point is correct but a tad misanthropic. I'd suggest most doctors care, but that care is so diluted that it's not in your best interest to put any reliance on it. We recently discovered our medical group, which we've been in for many years, could not be bothered to transfer the kids immunization records from the pediatricians office to their primary doctor (all in the same group) when the kids became adults.

        As other posts have noted, the only care you can rely on will come from the insurance comp

      • by Fnord666 (889225)

        You're wrong, you shouldn't trust your doctor AT ALL. Your life/health and privacy are far too important to do so.

        Your doctor is no better of a person than anyone at the insurance company.

        You need to understand that every single person at a hospital is also a person, not some mythical creature who actually cares about you.

        99.9% of the doctors created today are just as scummy as anyone else. The age where doctors cared has not existed during my life time, if it ever did. The hippocratic oath is a joke at best, nothing more than lip service.

        I don't trust my doctor with my personal information because of some vague oath any more than I do any politician to support and defend the constitution. I trust my doctor with my personal information because he has a legal obligation to not disclose that information to other parties without my consent.

      • by Jawnn (445279)
        We'd be interested to see the data supporting your 99.9% number, but we know that you're just talking out of your ass so we'll just call bullshit right now.
        Now let's talk about your misguided (not to mention grammatically awkward) notion that "Your doctor is no better of a person than anyone at the insurance company." What a remarkably naive notion that is. While there, is to be sure, a wide range of expertise (and character) among physicians, comparing those two populations is almost pointless. What is an
    • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:52AM (#47323895)

      What frightens me is the idea that they could get the wrong information and give that to my doctor or insurance company. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, my car broke down. While it was in the shop, I was getting a ride to work with a co-worker. They stopped at Dunkin' Donuts every morning and got a coffee and a donut, and I would usually pay for it (along with their gas) in exchange for giving me a ride. This means my purchase history would show me buying a coffee and a donut every morning for around five days, even though I didn't actually consume either of them.

      With a system like this in place, I'm sure my insurance company would see that and go "He's buying donuts, raise the premiums!" even though the donut I'm not consuming doesn't really effect me in any way.

      • by plopez (54068) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:58AM (#47323953) Journal

        Couple that with "eventually consistent" databases and you have a recipe for disaster.

      • You buy something as mundane as a coffee and a donut with a smart card? and how come the history is shared with everyone, not just your bank and the NSA?

      • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:16AM (#47324061)
        One step further; You're with a friend and stop at a convenience store, he asks you to get a pack of smokes. Your insurance states you're a non-smoker. They use this data to refuse a claim in the future.
        • Oops. One step too far. You fell over the believable cliff.

          Come on. While I'm not happy about the rampant data mining going on everywhere and the premise of TFA is faintly ridiculous (we know where all the really sick people are - they're in and out of the ER all the time - we don't need no stinkin' data mining) you just might imagine that somebody is going to do a few checks internally.

          Even in this Evil Pantopicon, one pack of cigs isn't going to flag anything. One pack of cigs every day, OTOH, just mi

      • Look on the bright side: if health insurance companies get between Americans and junk food and/or alchohol, within minutes congressmen will have to barricade their doors from angry citizens pounding it down demanding national medical healthcare.

        Insurance companies start dinging us for doughnuts? Cops like doughnuts and have guns and pepper spray. Just sayin.
      • by fahrbot-bot (874524) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @01:10PM (#47325811)

        What frightens me is the idea that they could get the wrong information and give that to my doctor or insurance company.

        To make matters worse, it seems impossible to get erroneous information removed. For example: My wife was misdiagnosed with asthma by an allergist. From then on, until she died 10 years later, every doctor asked her about her asthma, and she would tell them about the error. Even now, 8 years *after* she died, I still get flyers in the mail from BC/BS about asthma addressed to her.

        • by OhPlz (168413)

          It's even worse for people with chronic pain conditions. All it takes is one medical provider to flag the patient as a drug seeker and that person's life becomes a living hell.

    • by pepty (1976012)
      If the data brokers/hospitals want to prove my consumer information is actually health information and thus HIPAA rules should bar the data brokers from selling it to most of their other clients ... sign me up.

      http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/consumers/index.html

      Who must follow these [HIPAA] laws:

      Health Care Clearinghouses—entities that process nonstandard health information they receive from another entity into a standard (i.e., standard electronic format or data content), or vice versa.

      In addition, Business Associates of Covered Entities must follow parts of the HIPAA regulations.

      • by MitchDev (2526834)

        THAT would be a wonderful application of the HIPAA laws that so far seem to only generate a ream of papers (not for me to fill out or sign, just informational) when I visit the doctor's office...

        • by Altus (1034)

          The HIPPA rules are quite importnat, they do a lot to protect privacy in that data is not simply allowed to be shared without consent (unless you are incapacitated in which case a doctor in an emergency can get just about anything he wants. There are rules for tracking access to sensitive information along with auditing of the stated reason. Its pretty good stuff.

          That said, it only requires people to provide a certain level of data security.... since, say OpenSSH is an industry standard used for protectin

      • by sconeu (64226)

        Now that would be great! Kind of like the way that RMS turned copyright against itself with the GPL

    • by ehynes (617617)
      That's illegal under the Affordable Care Act which requires that insurers use an adjusted community rating [uhc.com].
    • by Sobrique (543255)
      If only you had healthcare free at the point of need.
    • It sounds like public disclosure of private facts. - http://privacy.uslegal.com/wha... [uslegal.com]

    • by reboot246 (623534)
      It may be innocent enough when it's just hospitals and doctors that are mining the data about you, but what happens when this country gets to a single-payer system? Then it's the government making the decisions and while a doctor or hospital can "advise" you about how you need to exercise and eat right, the government has the power to force you to do it.

      Think about it seriously. Everything you do in life somehow can be a health or wellness issue. Like to skydive or race motorcycles or rock climb or target s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:35AM (#47323727)

    If we criminalized collection of data without specific field level consent, we could end this invasion of privacy.

    • by Wycliffe (116160) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:48AM (#47323861) Homepage

      We could start by requiring mandatory reporting to a central agency and then a way for that central agency to send a
      unsubscribe back to the data collector.

      A government website where you can log in and see any place your name, social, phone number, etc.. is being used
      and a way to opt-out would be great. I'm still getting mail from people who haven't lived in my house for 5+ years.

      I think the 2 big problems with this plan is:
      1) Do we really want another giant government program/website.
      2) Sometimes the information collected is incomplete. Sometimes they only have a phone number, sometimes only an
      address, maybe just an email, sometimes less than that. So you would need a secure way to verify a phone number,
      an address, and a social at a bare minimum.

      It does seem crazy that stuff gets out and there is no way to recall your information. I have facebook friends
      who are now dead and yet their page is still active, people can still post to them, etc...

      • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:05AM (#47323999) Homepage

        We could start by requiring mandatory reporting to a central agency

        We can call it Big Brother. That's a nice name which implies someone looking out for your welfare, right?

        a way for that central agency to send a
        unsubscribe back to the data collector.

        Sorry, citizen, all information once collected can and will be used against you.

        In order to maximize corporate profits and governmental control, this information is vital to national interests.

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:50AM (#47323885)

      You can't allow for consent at all, if you do, every contract will simply require your consent in order for service to be rendered.

      The only way you stop data mining is to make it illegal, no exceptions. Its really no different than outlawing slavery. You can't allow someone to sign away their privacy or bodies to slavery otherwise they'll be duped, tricked or forced into a situation where they have to sign away those rights even if they don't want to.

      Want a bank loan? All banks will require you to allow them to mine your data or no loan, so you don't actually have a choice if you want a loan. But it'll just be extended to everything. Cell phone companies already do it. Power companies will start, and they'll add that you have to allow ANY and ALL of their affiliates to mine you as well ... and then everyone will become an affiliate of the power company.

      Nope, the only solution is to 100% outlaw data mining, which just isn't going to happen because the general public is basically too ignorant of the issue to care.

      • by fropenn (1116699)
        There are plenty of benefits that can be found from data mining. Lots of research, for example, uses data mining to identify trends, patterns, relationships, etc. that are then used to develop and test hypotheses.

        So it's not data mining that's the problem, rather, it's the way some corporations and institutions use data mining for their best interest and not in the best interest of those whose data they have.
      • by eth1 (94901)

        I agree that what you describe makes "consent" useless, but you don't necessarily need to outlaw it.

        Just require that:
        - any commercial entity that stores information on individuals (with NO exceptions whatsoever) has to provide said individuals a full dump of the data once per some time period upon request, with no conditions or cost attached, along with a list of everyone they've given it to.
        - the entity must correct any incorrect information, and can't distribute any information regarding an individual un

    • If we criminalized collection of data without specific field level consent, we could end this invasion of privacy.

      No you wouldn't. I deal with marketing software all the time. They get around it very easily. They don't log your name or any "directly" identifying information. Keep in mind, they don't care who you are... They just want to sell you stuff. So to remain in compliance with the law, you log all the data in an "anonymized" database. You log identifiable information like name, phone, email in a different database and make it "secure" Then you wait... at some point they will click a link or request some info tha

      • by jerdenn (86993)

        Fortunately, that strategy does not work for HIPAA protected health information. Any identifying number or information fragment that allows you to connect back to the original patient is not allowed. In small communities, this can be as little as age, diagnosis, and zip code.

        I expect some interesting court cases over this.

  • Donut want (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:36AM (#47323733)

    Thanks a lot autocorrect. Now my insurance premiums are going up.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...and so I can tell that by "better services", they mean "withdraw coverage or raise the insurance premium the millisecond your risk increases".

    • by plopez (54068)

      More along the lines of "increase CEO bonuses". The only goal corporations really pursue.

  • How is not a HIPAA violation to share my health data (which is necessary for the marketing to be profitable) with advertisers? Under most circumstances, just identifying people as patients is not allowed, let alone saying that John Doe, who has hypertension, has been ordering pizza.
    • Re:HIPAA? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:41AM (#47323799)

      You have it backwards.

      The hospital is taking marketing data and using it for pseudo healthcare related reasons.

      They aren't giving Taco Bell your health data from the hospital, they are giving the hospital your Taco Bell receipts.

      The hospital then uses this to figure out new ways to rip you off for their already ridiculously over priced health services.

      (My wife is a doctor, I'm more than qualified to comment on how ridiculously over priced their rip off services are)

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Yes, heath insurance /= heathcare /= health. Finally people are starting to understand this.

      • by dogbowl (75870)

        My wife is a doctor as well and I can assure you, physicians have no clue how to properly price medical services.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The hospital is taking marketing data and using it for pseudo healthcare related reasons.

        This seems as good a place as any to bring this up. Have other people been getting creepy robocalls from people claiming to be affiliated with their insurance companies?

        CSB: Robocall from a 'bot that knows my name, and it claims I need to fill out a survey for my health insurer. I ignore it. Bot calls back a few months later and says it just wants to be sure I'm getting the health care I need, etc.

        I do some digging

  • that corporations and governments are watching your every move, putting it into databases to penalize you over it's content later. As to if it's accurate, well forget that! You are always guilty before the corporate overlords.

    think of it as a new 'convenience charge'.

  • You may soon get a call from your doctor if you've let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of ordering out for pizza or begin shopping at plus-sized stores.

    When was the last time any doctor anywhere made an outgoing call to a patient? I get better customer service from my dog's veterinarian.

    • by bmorency (1221186)
      It might not happen very often but when I call my son's doctor and leave a message he will call me back at the end of the day every time. It is always him and not his secretary. That is one of the thing I really like about him.
      • Well, that call is in response to yours. I think jamesl meant a "just thinking about you" type of call.

        • by Fnord666 (889225)

          Well, that call is in response to yours. I think jamesl meant a "just thinking about you" type of call.

          That's because the underlying core of western medicine is a reactive one rather than a proactive one.

    • Boutique (read that "private, self-pay") physicians will do that as part of their service. But if you are part of the rank-and-file hitting an outpatient arm of a hospital? I totally agree with you. I work as a interface programmer for all sort of medical systems and can say they are at least _trying_ with the EMR's to give something resembling personal service by sending automated reminders and correspondence to you. But it's still just another form-letter in the end. I mean really - if you knew the realit

    • When was the last time any doctor anywhere made an outgoing call to a patient?

      When your bill is in arrears.

  • Since they will check the NSA 'passive kill' list anyway, they might as well do the rest, in case you are not the standard auto-die list .. the single man. Even then, they might want to torture you first at NSA so perhaps you'll get health care anyway. Or saved to fill a private jail cell, perhaps.

  • Anyone up for HIPAA? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CaptainDork (3678879) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:40AM (#47323783)
    Law firms recently received instructions regarding "secondary" violations of HIPAA. For instance, a firm might store X-ray images and depositions, expert affidavits, diagnoses, etc. that are strictly controlled at the source, but not necessarily at law firms, be the form of retention paper or digital. It would seem logical that all parties who have access to, or store, HIPAA-covered information should be regulated the same.
    • by sribe (304414)

      Law firms recently received instructions regarding "secondary" violations of HIPAA. For instance, a firm might store X-ray images and depositions, expert affidavits, diagnoses, etc. that are strictly controlled at the source, but not necessarily at law firms, be the form of retention paper or digital. It would seem logical that all parties who have access to, or store, HIPAA-covered information should be regulated the same.

      No, it really does not make sense. Take the law firms for example, if you provide your information to a law firm with the intent of suing a hospital or doctor, you are providing it with the intent that it (might) eventually be used in PUBLIC court proceedings. Why should a morass of privacy regulations apply in that situation?

      • Data becomes public if and only if it's introduced into evidence by the Law Firm. Is it really so onerous to say, if you have health data that is confidential, take steps so it will not be disclosed until such time as it becomes part of the public record? Otherwise you open the door to all kinds of corner cases where a law firm can effectively disclose this information.

        • by sribe (304414)

          Data becomes public if and only if it's introduced into evidence by the Law Firm. Is it really so onerous to say, if you have health data that is confidential, take steps so it will not be disclosed until such time as it becomes part of the public record? Otherwise you open the door to all kinds of corner cases where a law firm can effectively disclose this information.

          Are you forgetting that your communications with your lawyer were confidential for centuries before HIPAA piled on its god-awful morass of regulations???

      • Yes, but what if the law firm received it from someone other than me because of a court order (or for some other reason)?
  • Anathetic? (Score:5, Funny)

    by khr (708262) <kevinrubin@gmail.com> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:42AM (#47323801) Homepage

    Is data mining patients done under local or general anesthetic?

  • by HarryTk (1739402) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:44AM (#47323827)
    This youtube video attributed to ACLU has been around at least 8 years, and explains it all. "Ordering Pizza in the Future" -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward

      1984 (the novel).
      When it was written, it was incredible, such an imaginative mind as that man had.
      *In* 1984, it was impossible to believe any government (and especially anyone *not* in government) would ever get to know everything about you in such detail. Even in Russia, or Eastern Germany.
      In 2014, people laugh "huh, and without even needing Google or Facebook :)"
      In 2034 it will have been long overtaken by reality, and all except the old won't even remember that people once used to enjoy something called "

    • by budcub (92165)

      I would mod you up, but sadly, I have no mod points.

  • More like a computer- generated robocall.

    Besides, your doctor or hospital would probably prefer that you acquire an expensive long-term health condition that requires a lot of billable and reimbursable outpatient labor. They just don't want to see you walk in the door without private health insurance.

  • by dargaud (518470) <slashdot2@gdargau d . n et> on Thursday June 26, 2014 @09:56AM (#47323929) Homepage
    I live in a country with full healthcare. One thing I'd like to see is a (somewhat) obligation to give results on your treatment. Each time you go to the doctor to get some treatment, some time later you'd receive a mail with a link to a webform with a few _simple_ questions such as: did the treatment help ? Did you feel any adverse effect ? For how long were you sick ? For how long did you take your treatment ? Did you take any extra drugs, etc. And if you fail to respond to too many emails, your 'free' health care starts being dinged in you pocket. Of course, with exemption for some people and/or disease.

    It wouldn't cost much to implement, and would be a trove of info. Have a public structure derived from the national healthcare in charge of it which enforces strong anonymity, and provide anonymity data to big data analysts. It wouldn't take long to figure out scandals such as the Mediator. I mean, if you can't take ONE minute to answer some questions that WILL help others, why should you get free health care ?

  • by TigerPlish (174064) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:16AM (#47324063)

    All the more incentive to go back to paper money.

    Use debit / credit cards and open yourself to fraud and tracking, use cash and open yourself to robbery.

    Either way, we lost the war. The corporations won.

    The Public didn't even know there was a war on.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Quote: "You may soon get a call from your doctor if you've let your gym membership lapse, made a habit of ordering out for pizza or begin shopping at plus-sized stores...."

    What utter idiot wrote that article. Unless your last name is Rockefeller, you're not going to get a call from your doctor over such things. They've got far better things to do with their time. If you get a call, it'd be from some unfortunate person who's being paid little more than minimum wage for the work.

    This touches on one of my prim

    • by MitchDev (2526834)

      No, it's just that a real journalist would have so much to put in a story that corporations that run all the major news outlets don't want the public to know, so they only allow the stories they want told, with the spin they want on it.

  • While the theory of preventative care is great for marketing and selling the privacy intrusion to legislators, it has a negative impact on the bottom line. Ultimately the data is far more valuable to an insurance company than a healthcare provider.

    Don't expect a call from your doctor, only an insurance rate increase notice in the mail.

  • It certainly would seem to be a violation of HIPPA for a hospital to be giving your information out to others without your consent. Now, if the hospital is using the data collection services and doing their own comparison, cross-referencing your medical history with your collected behaviors, that might be different. It is likely, that is not what is being done, or proposed, however.

    In reality, it is also unlikely that the hospital will have enough data about you. Your insurance company would be a different

  • by kf4lhp (461232)

    "...made a habit of ordering out for pizza..."

    Pay cash. Stop at Little Caesars. Done!

  • I'll be over here, waiting patiently for the tipping-point to occur, when all you 'I have nothing to hide!' and 'I don't care who knows what I buy/where I go/what I do so long as I get a discount' people who have deprecated the whole concept of privacy have finally had enough of companies (and in this case, doctors and maybe insurance companies) poking their noses into your business. Those 'loyalty club' cards you've been using for years? Because you never cared about your own privacy, you never thought to
    • Don't hold your breath....

      I've tried to have a reasonable discussion on this topic with many people who are of the mindset you describe.
      It always devolves into a "think of the children" tack, where people that are ok with omnipresent monitoring argue that we can't have a safe society unless everything is tracked, which of course is utter bullshit.
      • by kheldan (1460303)
        What they don't seem to understand is that their whole 'Think of the children!' approach will end with everyone being treated like children, themselves included -- except of course the Watchers themselves, who will be the only people left on the planet who are anything even close to being adults anymore.
  • by Sir_Eptishous (873977) on Thursday June 26, 2014 @10:54AM (#47324399) Homepage
    I started using cash for most of my "discretionary" purchases lately.
    Things like grocery shopping, clothing, Home Depot, going to the bar, etc...

    I initially started doing it because of how porous and UN-trustworthy the whole paradigm of card transactions is.

    This article hits home on how using cash helps me in another way, being that my purchases can't be tracked.

    You know it really is interesting seeing how (for lack of a better phrase) Orwellian the whole system is getting.
    Interesting, as in Hindenburg appointing Hitler Chancellor in 1933...
  • Either the hospital goes to the company and says "here's a list of every patient we have, tell us everything you have", or the company brings it to them.

    Telling the companies your patient list might be a violation of HIPAA.

    If the company comes up the hospital and says "we have data on the following patients you have, want to buy it?", that's also a little shady.

    If the hospital just buys data on everybody and sifts out the people they're interested in, well, that's downright creepy.

    I just don't see how you c

  • If a hospital sends you a reminder like that, you can be sure a bill for it will soon follow.
  • Hospitals are required to submit data to health departments for public health reasons. This data is sent by requirement of law.

    Sending it to a marketing third party is a big no-no due to HIPPA

  • Sounds great - after all, it's to server me better! I'll just go ahead and assume that insurance companies have no interest at all in finding ways to charge me more money while adding to the list of pre-existing conditions they don't have to cover.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.

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