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Congress Needs to Press Zuckerberg about Facebook and Violations of Medical Privacy

If this were anyone besides a Silicon Valley superstar, they’d already be wearing an orange jumpsuit.

If reports are accurate, somehow, Facebook data mined medical information from users. That’s a clear violation of HIPAA. Violations of HIPAA are subject to stiff fines and/or prison time.

Think about this for a moment. Facebook took your personal information and used it to acquire your medical information. So, they know what you went and sought care for back in November. They know the prescriptions you take daily for various reasons.


Why would Facebook want to know these things about you?

Take me for example. I’m on Facebook. I need several prescription medications in order to keep myself on the up and up each day. Why would Facebook want to know what I take 10 milligrams of and 65 milligrams of and so forth.

I’d like to say it’s because they are selling my info to generate ad space. But I’m not seeing it. When I go into my Facebook I am not bombarded with ads for meds relative to my medical circumstances.

So why then was Zuckerberg’s big data corporation interesting in my medical info?

(See how I did that? When I refer to Facebook as Facebook you have a more favorable feeling for the company than when I call it a “big data corporation”, don’t you? Semantics, my friend, are everything).

I’d like to think that when Zuckerberg testifies before Congress these questions would come up.

I’d be curious to see how much money has changed hands between Zuckerberg-friendly entities and members of the Congressional committee before which he will be testifying.

And all that assumes Congress is legitimate in the first place in reigning in what appears to be a big data corporation (aka Facebook; see, did it again) run amuck.

My gut instinct tells me Congress is more interested in involving themselves in Facebook and, if they can manage, develop some way to convert the current issue into revenue for the government. Facebook by 2020 may very well emerge as a pay for play (pun intended) service) taxed federally. Click if you like.

photo credit: Alessio Jacona Mark Zuckerberg via photopin (license)

Andrew Allen

Andrew Allen (@aandrewallen) grew up in the American southeast and for more than two decades has worked as an information technoloigies professional in various locations around the globe. A former far-left activist, Allen became a conservative in the late 1990s following a lengthy period spent questioning his own worldview. When not working IT-related issues or traveling, Andrew Allen spends his time discovering new ways to bring the pain by exposing the idiocy of liberals and their ideology.