Hidden in ObamaCare Site: Applicants Surrender Right to Privacy
During Thursday's congressional hearing with the contractors responsible for building the troubled ObamaCare federal exchanges, we learned that whether you end up enrolling in ObamaCare or not, no one who puts any information into the ObamaCare website can expect to have their privacy protected. Moreover, the fact that you are giving up your right to privacy is hidden in source code that reads, "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication of any data transmitted or stored on this information system."
During his questioning on this specific issue, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) only received chilling answers and deflections from the primary contractor responsible for the site. When he asked Cheryl Campbell of CGI about it, her icy response was that another contractor was responsible. After some pressuring, she finally admitted that she was aware of the hidden source code.
Just a few minutes earlier, however, Ms. Campbell testified under oath that the ObamaCare website is HIPAA compliant -- meaning everyone's medical and personal information is protected by law. The privacy section on the ObamaCare website says your privacy will be protected. The hidden source code seems to say, "just kidding."
The next questioner was Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) who immediately attacked Barton as running a "monkey court" and then dismissed the fact that people are unknowingly giving up their right to privacy. Pallone correctly pointed out that you are not required to give out any medical information on the ObamaCare site, but Pallone conveniently ignored the fact that HIPAA doesn't just protect medical information. It is also supposed to protect personal information.
Just to get yourself an insurance quote on the ObamaCare site, you have been required to give out information on your income, place of employment, family, and answer a number of questions that verify your identity. For instance, I had to verify a recent car loan. And while you are not required to give out your social security number, you are repeatedly pressured to do so.
You are also asked detailed questions about your family situation -- whether you are married and how many children you have. Just to get a quote, I also had to answer intrusive questions about my wife, even though she is already insured and won't be buying insurance through ObamaCare.
Had I known that without my knowledge, I was giving away my right to privacy, there is no way on earth I would've given the ObamaCare site as much information as I did.
The American people have been repeatedly assured that the website is HIPAA compliant, covered under the strictest of privacy regulations regarding medical and personal information.
But like absolutely everything else involving ObamaCare, our expectation of privacy was a lie -- just like when Obama told us ObamaCare would decrease our premiums and that no one would lose their current insurance plans or their doctor.
The fact that the government is hiding the fact that you are giving up your right to privacy should be a major media scandal. But it won't be.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC