From the June 1999 Idaho Observer:

There is no privacy with tracking registries

Texas privacy invasion will become common among the several states

The article below has confirmed our worst fears about the true nature of statewide vaccine tracking registries. Dawn Richardson, founder of PROVE in Texas, initiated legislation in that state to require parental consent prior to children being placed in a vaccine data registry. When Idaho introduced its vaccine tracking registry in SB 1183, there was so much opposition that there were five pages of amendments added to the original bill, which included requiring parental consent to be placed in the registry. Our biggest concern was that despite all the amendments, there was no penalty for being placed in the registry without parental consent. After all, what good is a database of this sort statistically if you have selective participation? There also is no protection for those who choose to abstain from vaccinations as well as the registry. Discrimination against those who choose to abstain is becoming the norm since passage of SB1183. Aside from privacy in medical records, the data collected for this type of registry leaves no room for notations such as adverse reactions to a prior DPT shot or being allergic to yeast (a component of Hepatitis B vaccine.) When looking up a child's records in the vaccine registry, it would simply be noted that the child is behind, and like all the other “androids,” needs to be caught up on his shots. There is no such thing as biochemical individuality, let alone freedom of choice, when it comes to the state and its vaccine registration agenda. ~(ILC)

A Texas Database Horror Story

An article in the April 25, 1998 edition of WORLD magazine examines one Texas mother's discovery that the Texas Department of Health (TDH) is tracking her children -- and all children in the state -- through their inoculation records whether they have consented to inclusion in the tracking registry or not.

Dawn Richardson, who has been one of the primary leaders for vaccine education in the state, had growing concerns that databases of children's medical information were being compiled in government databases without parental consent and eventually used by HMOs or insurance carriers to discriminate against certain families.

Her fears were increased when she placed an anonymous phone call to the TDH on March 23, 1999, and discovered that her child's information was already on that agency's database.

Her horror was compounded when an agency official faxed her child's information to the masquerading Richardson by simply providing the child's name, birth date and address -- information readily available from public sources.

The ease with which Richardson was able to secure private medical records from the state raised serious privacy concerns about whom else could get access to the information.

To verify that this pattern was the rule rather than the exception, Richardson and several friends repeated and documented their experiment several times over the following week, with the same results.

The World article stated that two state senators, armed with Richardson's information, began an investigation into TDH information gathering practices, only to discover that TDH had been collecting information on more than three million children in Texas since 1994.

TDH officials had also acquired over half a million names from birth certificates, a practice that was halted after parents discovered the activity and protested.

One TDH official was quoted as saying, “We don't know where this [concern] is coming from. We've been collecting data since 1994 and no one has ever questioned us about it before. We're just trying to help people.”

The article noted the privacy concerns expressed by Agneta Breitenstein, director of the Health Law Institute in Boston: “There are three things that are always true when registries are created: One, there will always be more information collected than is needed to complete the task; two, it will always be kept longer than we are told; and, three, it will always be used for purposes other than intended.”

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