“British Columbia has one of the most valuable reservoirs of health-care data in the world (bolding mine) … Unlike anywhere else, B.C. has digitalized records of every prescription filled by a pharmacist since 1995, all doctor billings, hospital admissions and treatments from the same period, and results of all blood tests done since 2002” (1). So, why have they been collecting all this information without our knowledge, much less our permission??
The politicians are now connecting our driver’s license with our medical records and making it our provincial identification. And this is only the beginning of the linking of all your personal information to this one card. In other words, everything about you will be accessible by one card and one number and everyone to whom you show your provincial ID will know the number to use to access your information (legally or otherwise). They say that you have a choice to “upgrade” your license or not until 2018, at which time you lose the right to choose. An “upgrade” for whom? It certainly isn’t an upgrade for the patients whose information will now become more accessible. How is this “smart”? Although I expect this will be an “upgrade” to all the people in the government, the researchers (many, no doubt, from multinational pharmaceutical companies) plus suppliers and everyone else who accesses our information, but not an upgrade for the patients. What is the purpose except to link all your information to one central database available to all the low-life’s (see future post – our information is not protected).
Acronyms: FIPA – B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association – www.fipa.org
BCCLA – BC Civil Liberties Association – www.bccla.org
ICM – Integrated Case Management
“…, those tasked with protecting the privacy of British Columbians say the new cards are a form of surveillance and will centralize personal data in a way that makes it attractive to hackers.”
‘When you have that much information stored or linked together, it becomes much more valuable for criminals to attack,’ “said Vincent Gogolek, executive director of the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.” (3)
And it’s not only outside criminals but those inside the government (see future post “Our Information Is Not Protected).
“In a statement released today, Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham pointed to a number of shortcomings with the plan, and called for a halt to any further expansion of the Services Card without extensive public consultations on the risks and benefits of data linkage. And while they agree with the pause, the BCCLA and FIPA say that it will take more than a public consultation to fix what’s really broken in the government’s plan.”
“This government has got to come clean on the card before we are all forced to use it,” said Micheal Vonn, BCCLA Policy Director. “British Columbians have been provided almost no real information about it, and the Commissioner herself says she was only given an ‘abbreviated time for review’ of the program.” (4)
The ICM debacle also raises serious concerns over other government IT and identity management projects like the new B.C. Services Card, set to launch in mid-February (2013). “If we’re seeing this level of mismanagement with the ICM, not to mention other government IT programs like JUSTIN and BCeSIS, it’s a pretty safe bet we will see more of the same with the new ID cards. It’s time for a public inquiry into data linkage systems across government before more money is wasted and personal information is compromised.” (5)
See FIPA’s 2010 report on Integrated Case Management, “Culture of Care or Culture of Surveillance?”
“In a legal ruling that cuts to the core of medical privacy in the age of the genome, a woman who nearly died in a Calgary house fire and is suing the landlords for negligence has been ordered to undergo testing for Huntington’s disease, because if she has it, she may be entitled to less compensation.”
“Critics worry that the precedent of forced testing will enable insurance companies and employers to discriminate against people who are merely at risk of genetic illnesses like Huntington’s, and they call Canada an outlier in the developed world because it lacks formal legislative protection for genetic information.” (7)
Another article states “ …authorities are deliberating whether to allow the Chinese company to buy Complete Genomics of California, a major U.S. Sequencing company.” “ ..but the deal has officials there fretting over both the security of genetic data and national security.”
“ …Because the technologies involved “have national security implications related to bioweapons…”. (6) Is your information being used to create bioweapons. We have no idea who is using our information or how it is being used so anything is possible. The point is that WE should know where our information is going and how it is being used.
– “Heightened national security concerns, the growing business appetite for personal information and technological advances are all potent – and growing – threats to privacy rights,” said Stoddart (privacy commissioner) in a news release.
When I was in BC, I was asked many times, by banks, etc. for my care card number for “identification”. I gave it on one occasion, after being assured that they did not enter it into their system (for whatever that’s worth). I later decided it would be wiser not to give it again. In the future post “Our Information Is Not Protected” you will read how our medical information is being shared “without authorization” (illegally), with our identifying number attached and you will understand how the care card number, or B.C. Services card number, can be used to identify you and your medical information.
Your provincial identification will be available to so many people and businesses/organizations that, in effect, everyone will have it. So, if they want your information, they won’t have to try to find your care card number or search through numerous databases, they will have your B.C. Services card number.
(1) Plan to unlock B.C.’s trove of medical data raises privacy concerns, Rod Mickleburgh, 2012/04/18, Globe & Mail
(2) Security concerns, technological advances threaten privacy. Joan Delaney, 07 Jan 2008, The Epoch Times
(3) B.C.’s new identity cards raise host of privacy concerns, critics say, Luke Simcoe, Metro, 09 Jan 2013
(4) Privacy Groups demand halt to BC ID Card roll-out, FIPA, 08 Feb 2013
(5) Report finds B.C. Government’s $182 million Integrated Case Management system plagued with “fundamental deficiencies”, FIPA, 25 Jan 2013
(6) Why China is a genetic powerhouse with a problem, Carolynn Abraham and Carolynne Wheeler, The Globe and Mail, 15 Dec. 2012
(7) Court orders woman who almost died in fire to undergo tests to prove symptoms not linked to genetic disease, Joseph Brean, 26 Sep 2013, National Post