Monday, July 18, 2005

"Dr. Busybody's" diabetic database

The New York Post isn't too keen on the proposed New York registry of diabetics (see The Canadian Privacy Law Blog: City Officials Aim to Track How Diabetics Manage Illness):


"... Name-specific registries for certain communicable diseases - such as HIV/AIDS and hepatitis - make sense.

The early-20th century Typhoid Mary demonstrated the need for public-health authorities to prevent individuals from spreading highly contagious diseases.

Diabetes doesn't fall into that category.

This would be the first time that a complete record would be assembled for a non-communicable, chronic affliction.

As far as privacy goes, Frieden notes that the confidentiality of the department's registries haven't been compromised in more than 140 years.

That anybody knows about, of course.

Indeed, the potential of large private databases being compromised by hackers and criminals is sharper than it's ever been - as demonstrated by the recent cases involving MasterCard and the ChoicePoint identification-and-verification service. And health-insurance companies and potential employers would have no interest in Frieden's database? Yeah, right.

It's time for New Yorkers to say enough is enough.

And if all this information depresses you, and drives you to drink? Well, expect a visit from Dr. Frieden presently.

He'll be there to help."

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