Federal Data Hub: Say Good-Bye To Your Privacy
Religion & Liberty Online

Federal Data Hub: Say Good-Bye To Your Privacy

Undoubtedly, we live in an era where personal privacy is difficult to maintain. Even if you choose not to have a Facebook account or Tweet madly, you still know that your medical records are on-line somewhere, that your bank account is only a hack away from being emptied, and that cell phone records are now apparently government domain. But it gets worse.

Enter the Federal Data Hub, which will give the government access to “reams of personal information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the IRS to the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration”, guarded and navigated by an army of “patient navigators.”

The federal government is planning to quietly enact what could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic,” Paul Howard of the Manhattan Institute and Stephen T. Parente, a University of Minnesota finance professor, wrote inUSA Today. No wonder that there are concerns about everything from identity theft to the ability of navigators to use the system to register Obamacare participants to vote.

And…it gets even worse. One group acting as “patient navigators” will be Planned Parenthood:

Planned Parenthood is among the long list of…organizations that are expected to receive taxpayer-funded navigator grants. The navigator grants would further enable Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, to continue its misuse of taxpayer dollars to [supplement] their big abortion business,” said Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), who says she wants to eliminate the navigator program — for which $54 million in funds will be made available — even without a Planned Parenthood link because it’s ‘ripe for fraud and abuse’, violations of privacy and identity theft.

The navigators will receive 20-30 hours of online training on the 1200 page Obamacare law, and some feel that isn’t enough, likening it to “giving someone a first-aid course and then making him a med-school professor.” In addition, some lawmakers say that the standards set by the Department of Health and Human Services could allow felons to access information and that the entire system is open to fraud and corruption. House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan says this is a hugely under-reported story, and that the Federal Data Hub is a “danger to civil liberties.” At the very least, the Federal Data Hub should be a concern; at the very most, we can all say good-bye to the shreds of privacy we have left.

Elise Hilton

Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.