By Jonathan Benson
Cashless payment bracelet allows access to medical records, personal information
Marketed as a simple and convenient way to carry identification, make payments, and furnish quick and easy access to medical records in the event of an emergency — all with one single bracelet. But the VITAband also has the potential to become a serious invasion of privacy as it allows third parties to access personal data and other information, all of which is linked to a users individual ID tag.
If the US government suspects you might be a “terrorist,” it already has the ability to access and monitor, in real time, your credit and debit card transactions as they occur, as well as listen in on your landline and mobile phone calls. But if you tie your personal medical records and other information directly to your credit card use through VITAband, imagine just how much more exposed your personal information will be.
Back in July, US Bank announced that it had adopted the VITAband for its customers. The company first tested it on employees from multiple states earlier in the year, and eventually unveiled it for everyone. Each bracelet contains a special chip linked directly to a user’s account, as well as a unique ID number that can be traced back to that user’s personal and medical history .
VITAband users are free to decide for themselves what, and how much, information they wish to upload in association with their bracelet. All medical information uploaded into the system is handled by Microsoft’s HealthVault, a system that compiles health records from many sources into one, single source. This data aggregation, of course, makes it much simpler for the government to spy on citizens personal information.