Federal Security and Privacy

A government data warehouse stores personal information forever on millions of people who seek coverage under President Obama’s health care law, including those who open an account on HealthCare.gov [ObamaMart] but don’t sign up for coverage.

The Feds are proud of that, too:

The health care system, known as MIDAS, is described on a federal website as the “perpetual central repository” for information that the Affordable Care Act authorizes federal agencies to collect.

“Data in MIDAS is maintained indefinitely at this time,” says another document, a government privacy assessment dated Jan 15.

Never mind that

Marilyn Tavenner, the Medicare administrator at the time, told a congressional hearing that the program’s technology infrastructure was designed “to minimize all possible security vulnerability.”

“And we especially focused on storing the minimum amount of personal data possible[.]”

Or that proper information security technique has data destroyed after a fixed period of time, not held in perpetuity, or for as long as convenient to the holder of those data.

And this gem:

The Obama administration says MIDAS is essential to the smooth operation of the health care law’s insurance markets and meets or exceeds federal security and privacy standards.

The Obama administration has shown us, with OPM, just how shockingly low those security and privacy standards are.


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