Privacy, identity

My daughter went to the pedetrician she’s seen since she was born last week for her annual physical. The ofice required proof of her insuance – it has not changed, but OK – and proof of identity for her or her parents.

This week, I went to see my primary care physician for MY annual physical doctor. I’ve had this doctor for over 15 years. The front staff know who I am. In fact, when he asked me for MY ID, the staffer said, almost giggling: “We KNOW who you are.” I also prsented my insurance card, though it hadn’t changed.

Now I understood it when I went to St. Peter’s to get X-rays; I’m not exactly a regular.
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A bit off topic, but it did get me to think about issue privacy and personal information. The type of info I hate giving up is the type I believe will harm me. For instance, one of my providers STILL uses my Social Security number as my patient identification. This makes me VERY nervous. And isn’t that in violation of the HIPAA law?

Meanwhile, there are members of Congress complaining about the “invasive” Census. Frankly, I’m a bit disappointed that, with all the money being spent on it, they didn’t ask for more.

Newspapers, when I write a letter to the editor, require my name, address, and phone number. But if I write to their blogs, I can hide under a pseudonym and say pretty much what I want. The blogger can block it, but still the conversation is far more incidiary than the print letters. I’m not sure that folks online shouldn’t be subjected to the same rules of contact as their pen-and-paper cohorts.

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The question: what issues of privacy do YOU worry about? Census, online transactions, the restaurant worker with your credit card ?