Health is not only the highest good. It entails some of the most sensitive private data and in that sense requires particular protections.
This is especially true because in the digital age citizens’ private data can be exploited more easily.
Here we are not speaking about the tastes of consumers as reflected in the surfing we all do on the internet. Whoever takes possession of healthcare data will not simply fashion a consumer profile so as to bombard us with ads.
They will have access to our full medical files. One can easily imagine what that means for someone who is seeking to be insured by a private insurance company. The same holds true for someone seeking employment and who will be at the mercy of every employer.
The Health Ministry does not appear to have taken into account these weighty issues in its omnibus law on the Individual Electronic Health File.
Certainly one must move into the digital era and not have to search for print files at hospital.
Experts, however, say that this is being done in a manner that could expose our private data to individuals. It is being done in a manner that leaves much open to interpretation and lacks the necessary guarantees of privacy.