A lot of the information you would think is private is sold in the marketplace. One example of this is the advertisement that Experian makes selling who is sick or has an ailment. The information is taken from credit card purchasing information and loyalty card programs. You can notify the loyalty programs you have joined that selling your information is not permitted. Download your declaration of privacy by clicking here
Anyone can buy this information.
There are other companies also selling personal medical data. The reason this exists is that government regulation is ineffective according to our courts. Most would think that HIPPAA covers this kind of activity. The use of your loyalty card or paying with a credit card falls outside of HIPPAA. it is all an interpretation problem that I explain deeper in The Right to Property book has more information on this and other data issues.
The advertisement to the left was on the internet for a few years. I originally found it in 2013. It was removed from Nextmark (a list advertising site) and replaced with a version not showing the Experian logo, sometime between 02/12/2016 and 03/09/2016.
What about the Government?
Our government has a political-bureaucratic problem at its core. Unfortunately for us, politics are in our form of governance to the degree that selective prosecution has become commonplace. Our laws already have a section for the penalty of disclosing medical information.
the following passage is taken from our US Code and available from the https://www.law.cornell.edu/
A person who knowingly and in violation of this part—
(1) uses or causes to be used a unique health identifier;
(2) obtains individually identifiable health information relating to an individual; or
(3) discloses individually identifiable health information to another person, shall be punished as provided in subsection (b) of this section. For purposes of the previous sentence, a person (including an employee or other individual) shall be considered to have obtained or disclosed individually identifiable health information in violation of this part if the information is maintained by a covered entity (as defined in the HIPAA privacy regulation described in section 1320d–9 (b)(3) of this title) and the individual obtained or disclosed such information without authorization.
A person described in subsection (a) of this section shall—
(1) be fined not more than $50,000, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both;
(2) if the offense is committed under false pretenses, be fined not more than $100,000, imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both; and
(3) if the offense is committed with intent to sell, transfer, or use individually identifiable health information for commercial advantage, personal gain, or malicious harm, be fined not more than $250,000, imprisoned not more than 10 years, or both.
WHY IS GOVERNMENT NOT DOING ANYTHING?
Ask your representatives that is really a question for them. Politicians are really hooked on your data and it is totally unfair for the part of our population that does not use the internet. For those are the ones that don’t know about this and are the greatest affected. Send your representative a letter, or call them. Demand that the Attorney general investigate and enforce existing law.
WHAT YOU CAN DO.
Demand that your information is not for sale. Your name is your property and no one has the right to sell any information about you. Experian requires that individuals send a letter requesting that their own information be removed. Brokers count on your inaction so it can sell your information. You should not allow this company to sell your condition. The address and a sample letter can be found using this link.
If you would be interested in civil litigation regarding this issue please use the form below.