Include Opt-Out Feature in Covered California Data Mining, Say Federal Officials

Covered California’s deep dive into data mining, without consumer permission, has drawn the scrutiny of congressional members. 

Reps. Tony Cárdenas, D-San Fernando Valley; Mark DeSaulnier, D-Richmond; Judy Chu, D-Monterey Park; and Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, today called on the state to protect consumers’ identity information. 

“We are concerned about the cybersecurity and privacy risks involved in collecting such a large volume of sensitive data,” the congress members wrote.

Covered California in April signed a $9.3 million contract with Truven Health Analytics to run a massive data-mining project to collect insurance company data on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays for every patient. Executive Director Peter Lee told the Los Angeles Times that they had no plans to allow consumers to opt out and keep their records out of the database. 

The California congressional members want the state to implement an opt out feature and inform consumers how their information will be used. 

Hackers have attacked Anthem and Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance, accessing nearly 19 million records, and gained information from the UCLA hospital system that has endangered the records of more than 4 million Californians. 

In June, hackers accessed information, including personal files, of more than 20 million present and past federal employees from the last 15 years. 

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