Feds Keep Personal Information Forever

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Published on: June 17, 2015

How many US citizens have heard of MIDAS? Immediately, most think of the king who could turn items to gold when he touched it. However, MIDAS actually is an acronym for the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System — the federal healthcare.gov central repository that stores the data of Obamacare enrollees “forever.” Yes, that is correct. The data US citizens send to the government goes into that central depository to be stored forever. Some experts are concerned about MIDAS after the security breach last month resulting in the theft of personal data of taxpayers. Another disturbing fact is officials will not say how many individuals have direct access to the database.

According to Americans for Tax Reform:

The decision to keep personal information of enrollees forever has raised the ire of experts. Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, stated that it is irresponsible of the government to retain data any longer than is necessary. Similarly, Michael Astrue, a former Social Security Commissioner, has argued that there is no justification for keeping this data permanently. In addition, he worries that the federal government is illegally expanding MIDAS by adding personal information from state-run Obamacare exchanges without proper privacy consent.

The National Archives recommends a ten-year retention period for this data but the government has not decided on a final period.

What type of information is MIDAS perpetually storing? According to the article, Vast data warehouse raises Healthcare.gov privacy concerns, “the information stored includes names, Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, phone numbers, passport numbers, employment status and financial accounts.” In other words, everything an identify thief needs in order to wreak havoc on someone’s life.

On Sept. 16, 2014, the Government Accounting Office (GAO) released a report that criticized the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for implementing MIDAS with “incomplete security plans and privacy documentation.” The GAO report exposed the release of “the data of millions of Americans to Equifax, a corporate credit bureau, without any finalized agreement protecting the privacy rights of the individuals whose data HHS disclosed — a clear violation of the Privacy Act.” The report also identifies the lack of proper safeguards in place upon implementation of MIDAS.

The report states, “Healthcare.gov had weaknesses when it was first deployed, including incomplete security plans and privacy documentation, incomplete security tests, and the lack of an alternate processing site to avoid major service disruptions.” Additionally, “Until these weaknesses are fully addressed, increased and unnecessary risks remain of unauthorized access, disclosure or modification of the information collected and maintained by Healthcare.gov and related systems, and the disruption of services provided by the systems.” [emphasis mine]

So much for the government following all its own rules delineated for other entities when dealing with personally-protected, identifiable information. What an ingenious method contrived to destroy citizens targeted by the government. An unauthorized user could access and modify the data in the system, causing tremendous backlash to an unsuspecting individual. Worse, an unauthorized user could disclose actual information or modified information, smearing a targeted individual by making the target appear guilty of some crime, or making the target a victim of a crime.

Remember, Obamacare mandates all US citizens to purchase health care insurance and provide that information to the IRS on your tax return. Even if you have health insurance through another avenue outside Obamacare, your IRS tax return holds that information, which is in a database subject to potential compromise. The IRS holds tax return information in databases for every tax-paying household in America.

When the IRS was hacked last month, it compromised the personal data of 100,000 households. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the breach would have been more difficult had the IRS implemented 44 recommendations to strengthen protections–ten of those recommendations more than three years old. Another TIGTA report revealed the IRS failed to “properly administer Obamacare tax credits, resulting in millions of individuals receiving a credit” for which they are supposedly ineligible. In another separate report, the IRS failed to test their “Obamacare processing system until a week before tax filing season.” And, the hits keep on coming as it was revealed earlier this year by the Obamacare CEO that Healthcare.gov “will not be completed until Obama leaves office.”

This is already a disaster. However, the inability of the government to safeguard the personal data of citizens is another type of disaster just waiting to happen. If this surprises some US citizens, they chose to be ignorant, as many were warning of the potential dangers of the government keeping and storing this type of information through unconstitutional programs. Foreign, as well as domestic, hackers target US government systems for nefarious purposes. These reports prove the government has been derelict in protecting the information of the citizens from exposure to potential crimes. It is another example of why the federal government should be held to the enumerated powers delegated to it by the Constitution of the United States of America.

Scandals riddle the IRS, indicating the agency is out of control, used for nefarious purposes by the administration, and negligent in protecting any data it receives from citizens. The IRS ignored a recommendation to implement further security measures meaning the agency is capable of doing so but did not. Repeatedly, the IRS behaves as bullies against average citizens while allowing the “elite” to skirt retribution for their infractions. This monstrous, unconstitutional agency, along with the Sixteenth Amendment, deserves abolishment, and Obamacare needs nullification and total repeal.

For those individuals who lauded “free health care” and supported this potential mega-disaster (Democrats in both chambers and leftist communists), this proves there is nothing “free” as it costs something. In this case, it isn’t money that is the cost, but the lack of privacy and security in the data submitted to the federal government in order to receive something that is anything except free. If that isn’t enough cost, US citizens lost control over the direction of their health care in favor of the “nanny state” who will morph Obamacare into socialized medicine, thereby instituting hardcore rationing of health care services. While some may champion this move, their reaction will change when the time arrives that they will have their health care rationed.

In the meantime, citizens can be insecure in knowing that the federal government failed to protect the most personal data in its possession, along with all its constitutional duties it has neglected to perform or chosen to ignore.

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