Wednesday, November 15, 2006

What next, badges?

According to this article, federal funding is becoming contingent on states tracking the names of HIV positive patients.

I understand the argument for tracking the progression of the disease. What is superior about this method as compared to, say, just asking doctors how many new diagnoses they've made in a year?

I'm usually not a big "The government is out to getcha!" kind of privacy person, but this strikes me as over the top.

Just for kicks and grins, I'm imagining the worst possible scenario for this: Some politician is running for office; Governor, let's say. This pol is HIV+, and some clever campaign flunky with connections in the health departments has managed to track down the pol's name in the database. This juicy little tidbit gets leaked to the media, and now it's everywhere: Gubernatorial candidate John Doe has HIV!

Politics aside, what if such a database became available to the "right" parties? Just as insurance companies or potential employers might avoid you due to your track-record on the net, what if you were short-shrifted because they found out you were HIV+? How could you know?

The problem with Pandora's box is that you can't really close it after it's been opened.

1 comment:

-Murphy said...

I... um. Hm. Actually agree.


That was odd.

I'm going to go lie down.