Poor Target Corporation. The 112 year old retailer today disclosed that its original estimate that 40,000 of its customers’ credit and debit cards that were used during the Holiday shopping season might be low – now suggesting that as many as 70,000 such accounts might have been compromised. In addition to card and pin numbers the data which hackers might have collected may also include home addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. In response, the corporation is taking steps to ameliorate the damage by offering free one year subscriptions to data security services for those customers who might have been affected.
Speaking of identity theft, the House conducted hearings late last year in which they interviewed five IT experts and asked them if, given the stories about the lack of security built into the Obamacare website, they would entrust their personal data to it. All five responded, “No.”
Today, the House of Representatives passed a simple two page bill which it sent to the Senate where Majority Leader Harry Reid will most likely not allow it to come up for a vote. The Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act would simply require that the government notify anyone whose identity was compromised while using www.healthcare.gov within a 48 hour period after the data breach occurred. That doesn’t sound terribly controversial. In fact, 67 Democrat Representatives voted in favor of the bill which passed 291-122.
Rep.Elijah Cummings, (D – MD) who voted against the bill said, “There have been no successful security breaches of HealthCare.gov. Nobody’s personal information has been maliciously hacked.” Prior to the assault on Target’s customers, I suspect that corporation could have made the same claim.
The purported principle underlying Obamacare is that by requiring all Americans to have health insurance it would provide greater health security for everyone. Fortunately, one of the mandated requirements is that the policies issued under the law must include treatment for psychiatric conditions. And that’s a good thing.
If a for-profit, well run company like Target Corporation cannot completely defend itself or its customers against electronic hacking, consider what we might expect from a flawed website where no front to back testing for security has yet to be conducted.
Incidentally, the prime contractor on the website, CGI Federal, which had a number of other flawed projects under its belt previous to their receiving this contract, was fired today. Apparently the Obama administration has finally figured out that there is another “F” word other than the one that polite people try to avoid using. Watch out Kathleen Sibelius.
The good news is that, considering the horrific job creation numbers for December of a mere 74,000, when the breaches to the website start occurring there should be an uptick in the earnings for the nation’s psychiatrists, psychologists and others in the mental health business. Of course the question remains, will any of them accept the insurance that Obamacare offers?