What’s Behind the Public Internet Communication Privacy Crisis in Healthcare

In Features25 by Mary Kurek

By John McNulty,  CEO of Didgebridge
Who and what is fueling these Public Internet invasions of our healthcare privacy?  (“Digital Hipaa”)

It’s all about compiling highly monetizable Healthcare Risk-Profiles…on all of us. The Public Internet’s Privacy violating “bad-guys” are currently mining our Healthcare Public Internet Communication. This includes our visits to drug/device company websites and hospital  websites, as well as WebMD, Patients-Like-Me, and NIH, and CDC websites. These sites also includes our Healthcare related social media chats with family members—as well as our interactions with apps and Gmail. (Feel free to conduct your own web-searches to find Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Chicago Tribune, and MIT articles). Additionally, and most disturbingly—this egregious data mining is impacting clinical trial recruitments and sign-ups.  Why? Consumer lack of privacy-trust is slowing patient recruitment for trials, thus delaying the launch of potentially life-saving Covid-19 drugs and vaccines. One might thus even argue that Public Internet Privacy anxiety is now possibly resulting in Covid-19 deaths?

The Public Internet Privacy violations I am describing here are both ethically and legally disturbing. In the opinion of our doctor team members, and law firm advisors, we also believe these privacy violations to be in direct conflict with both the EU’s GDPR Internet Privacy Laws as well as California’s CCPA Internet Privacy Laws. Many healthcare legal scholars also feel that this type of Public Internet Privacy abuse may also be an Anti-Trust violation.  In my past corporate experience with Anti-Trust while an Executive at Kodak & Gillette, we were not engaged in consumer harm. Thus; Not-guilty. However, when it comes to covertly creating and selling our healthcare risk profilesconsumer harm is arguably present. The reason for that is that our healthcare risk profiles (scores) are being accumulated without consent. This is “Digital-Hipaa-illegal.”  These monetizable risk profiles are being sold to data brokers, who sell them to insurance companies, and lending institutions. The foundation pillar of their business models is risk reduction when it comes to our health or life insurance, or our 30-year mortgage loans, or small business loans. Thus, the potential for consumer harm is very real.

Therefore, the grounds for Anti-Trust violation is also very real.

If Congress is interested in nailing the “bad-guys,” it might behoove them to more closely examine the consumer harm argument. And, let’s not hesitate to make our elected officials aware of our concerns.

John McNulty

John McNulty is the  CEO of Didgebridge, a privacy-focused communication technology company whose mission is to enable consumers, researchers, and medical professionals to be comfortable in accessing vitally important healthcare Internet content (and guidance) without fear of being tracked, mined, harvested, and ultimately weaponized by the “Privacy-Bad-Guys” within the Public Internet Communication-Ecosystem.  To learn more and check out a demo, visit https://didgebridge.com/.
(You can also view their “Healthcare Privacy Crisis” video.  TEXT: private   TO:  88512)