Residents of Kentucky encountered a startling warning when they attempted to use “kynect”, the state-run health insurance marketplace website:
“This is a government computer system and is the property of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. It is for authorized use only regardless of time of day, location or method of access. “
“Users (authorized or unauthorized) have no explicit or implicit expectation of privacy. Any or all uses of this system and all files on the system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized state government and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.”
“By using this system the user consents to such at the discretion of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”
“Unauthorized or improper use of this system may result in administrative disciplinary action and/or civil and criminal penalties. The unauthorized disclosure of Data containing privacy or health data may result in criminal penalties under Federal authority.”
The information customers need to provide to enroll in the marketplace via kynect includes Social Security numbers, immigration status, pay stubs, alimony payments, student loan information, and current health insurance information.
And per the disclaimer, that information can be used by state agencies at their “discretion.”
Gwenda Bond, a spokesperson for kynect, called the disclaimer “problematic,” and said it was a mistake.
Here’s what she told the Washington Free Beacon:
“The disclaimer is a federal requirement intended to let all who come on the website know this is a governmental entity and sensitive information is contained within.”
“While the language sounds severe, it actually is a warning to those who might try to inappropriately use the website or any personal information contained within,” she said. “We appreciate you bringing this to our attention, and we are working to modify the language so the message is more clear.”
Oh, the message is clear, all right. Loud and clear.
Bond also said that kynect will change the wording of the disclaimer to the following:
“This website is the property of the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. This is to notify you that you are only authorized to use this site, or any information accessed through this site, for its intended purpose of assisting individuals, employers or employees in the selection or purchase of health plans or other benefits.”
“Unauthorized access or disclosure of personal and confidential information may be punishable by fines under state and federal law. Unauthorized access to this website or access in excess of your authorization may also be criminally punishable. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange follow applicable federal and state guidelines to protect information from misuse or unauthorized access.”
Is this their way of telling us our data is really NOT secure?
The difference between the two disclaimers is striking. In the revised version, the language referencing “no expectation of privacy” has been removed. Does that mean users no longer have to be concerned about their data being “intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed to authorized state government and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign”?
At the time of this writing, the kynect website was “not available”. Surprise, surprise.
But then, are we really surprised that something run by the government isn’t working properly?
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Contributed by Lily Dane of The Daily Sheeple.
Lily Dane is a staff writer for The Daily Sheeple. Her goal is to help people to “Wake the Flock Up!”