Hey CDC: The Answer Is…

Written by Scott

Topics: Uncategorized

This afternoon we got a call identified as NORC U CHICAGO at 312-201-4623. Did not answer, and the following voicemail was left: (click here to download/listen). The caller identified herself as being from the CDC and asking for child and vaccination information.

Appears that the call is from The National Immunization Survey, collecting information related to vaccines, demographics, and children. Sounds benign enough…except we legally choose to not vaccinate for medical and philosophical reasons, and not one we took lightly. We turn in the forms we are required to with the school district. We do what we are legally required to do.

And even if we did vaccinate, any personally identifiable information is none of their business. HIPAA, anyone?…the info that the CDC might require is already made available to them, but without personally identifiable info. Furthermore, HIPAA requires that:

To receive PHI for public health purposes, public health authorities should be prepared to verify their status and identity as public health authorities under the Privacy Rule. To verify its identity, an agency could provide any one of the following:
* if the request is made in person, presentation of an agency identification badge, other official credentials, or other proof of government status;
* if the request is in writing, the request is on the appropriate government letterhead;
* if the disclosure is to a person acting on behalf of a public health authority, a written statement on appropriate government letterhead that the person is acting under the government’s authority [45 CFR § 164.514(h)(2)].

Clearly, none of this was done. (see here for more info as to how HIPAA applies to CDC).

My response? Well, here’s where technology is wonderful. We have VOIP phones through Viatalk. I just logged into our control panel, selected that number, and set to BLOCKED, which will play any caller from that number a message saying that number has been blocked. There’s some privacy.

So, back to the title of this post. Hey CDC: The answer is no thanks. Really.