The COVID-19 pandemic has presented lessons on using health data to improve, save, and protect lives, and the need to improve the stewardship of health privacy. Before the pandemic, the United States already had a broken health data system, fragmented and dominated by public-private partnerships in which the businesses involved sought to commercialize patient data. More than two years into the pandemic, in many respects health data privacy is even more fractured and prone to being misused to profiteer and to harm rather than help the most vulnerable. Health data is now being used by law enforcement to criminalize abortion and undocumented immigration, making reform an urgent necessity.
The Erosion of Health Data Privacy
Mary F. E. Ebeling is a professor of sociology and affiliate faculty with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Drexel University. Her latest book is Afterlives of Data: Life and Debt under Capitalist Surveillance (University of California Press, 2022).
Mary F. E. Ebeling; The Erosion of Health Data Privacy. Current History 1 November 2022; 121 (838): 316–321. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/curh.2022.121.838.316
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