10-4-13 – Government-Run Identity Theft

by Shayne Spence

One major concern cited by those opposing the new healthcare exchanges – required by ObamaCare – is the lack of privacy protections on the exchanges.  In recent years, we have seen a string of high-profile hackings, including Sony’s Playstation Online servers, Visa and MasterCard, and even the CIA.  All of these hackings have resulted in the private information of millions of Americans being leaked onto the internet, for anyone to use.  It is easy to imagine something similar occurring, especially with these new centralized hubs of healthcare information providing a nice big target.

And sure enough, less than 24 hours after the Minnesota exchange, MNsure, opened, personal information of over 2,000 people was released by one of the navigators trained to help people sign up for the exchanges.  Before the database to contain this information was even created, an email containing the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of the new exchange customers was sent to the wrong person, a local insurance broker named Jim Koester.  Koester deleted the information, and later reported it, but the incident begs a much larger question;  if this kind of a leak can take place just hours after the exchanges go live, how long will it take for cyber-criminals like Anonymous to discover the wealth of information here, and use it?

Imagine a recent retiree who has saved her entire life and has $75,000 in the bank for her retirement.  She signs up through one of the ObamaCare exchanges, and a few weeks later, her identity has been stolen, along with her retirement savings.  By putting all of this information in one place as these “hubs” do, we paint a target on the back of millions of Americans, and open them up to identity theft and much worse.

Original article found here.

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