Health Experts Say To Be Really Careful In Sharing Your Data On Health Apps

Let’s start out here

COVID vaccine ‘passports’ in the U.S.: Here’s what we’re getting and why

The European Union is about to launch a digital pass system that will let residents prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, recovered from the disease or recently tested negative for the virus, allowing them to travel freely among all 27 member nations.

For months, Israelis used a similar digital pass system, showing their vaccination status to enter restaurants, gyms and other venues. Australia has rolled out a digital proof of vaccination certificate, and Japan plans to issue one as soon as this summer.

But don’t expect the United States to go that way.

With the federal government unwilling to take the politically charged step of creating or endorsing a universal digital health pass or app, several companies are trying to fill the void. That might mean Americans will need several digital passes, like so many credit cards in a wallet. It could also mean employers, businesses and venue operators will each have to decide which works for them — or might not bother using any at all.

The EU, Japan, Israel, and Australia all seem to be limiting the passports to simply one thing: vaccination status. And, getting beyond the notion of creating a two tiered system between the vaxxed and unvaxxed, we’ve already seen that New York and a few other states are already looking to add quite a bit more information to their passports

Be careful sharing your personal information on health apps, experts warn

With all the stress, sadness and anxiety we’ve dealt with over the last year, it’s no wonder use of mental health apps is surging.

Whether it’s a guided meditation or an appointment with a licensed therapist, mental health apps are in demand, but experts say people should be careful about sharing personal or sensitive information over these apps.

Some platforms might not be private as you may think. They’re not always covered by the same medical privacy laws, such as HIPAA, that protect information you share with a doctor in person.

And even when HIPAA rules do apply, they may not cover all the data an app collects.

“What companies tell you about what they do with your data is often pretty vague and confusing and it’s usually buried in privacy policies, where it can be hard to find,” Thomas Germain, Consumer Reports Tech Editor.

Do you think the government/private COVID passports are going to be any better, any safer? How many issues did they have with the Obamacare portals? Especially when they start asking for more and more information beyond simply whether you’ve been vaccinated? Also, how does one prove it? The system is ripe for abuse since (first article)

In addition, the U.S. does not have a national database for immunization records that could act as the source of vaccination data for use in digital passes. A national system to create a unique identification number to link the health records of every American has been banned since 1998, spearheaded by then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who said such a system would be an unwarranted privacy intrusion.

Is anyone keeping track of who has gotten the vaccine? Not just how many citizens, but, actual names and information? Are states? Counties? Or, are they just handing out CDC cards and everyone is just a number? Meaning people can game the system easily? Regardless, it is not unusual for government here in the U.S. to over-reach and perform mission creep with just about everything, and you know they will want to expand everything about the COVID passports and what they are used for.

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