One state’s collection of health data sparks privacy and digital ID concerns
12/15/2023 // News Editors // Views

Nebraska’s initiative to centralize health data for all residents under the Health Information Technology Board has raised significant privacy concerns and fears of a move towards a national digital ID system.

(Article republished from

The State of Nebraska’s recent decision to centralize health data for all its residents has sparked a wave of criticism and concern. This initiative, led by the newly established state Health Information Technology (HIT) Board, aims to compile patient health and medical records into a single, centralized system. Critics are decrying this move as a significant breach of privacy and are alarmed at what they see as a step towards the implementation of a national digital ID.

In 2020, the Nebraska legislature unanimously approved the creation of the HIT Board. As per the HIT Board’s website, its 17 members, appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature, include a diverse group of healthcare stakeholders. These members range from medical professionals to hospital administrators, contributing their expertise to the management of health data.

CyncHealth, a regional health data utility, has been appointed to oversee the collection and administration of this medical data. CyncHealth manages health information for over five million patients across more than 1,100 healthcare institutions in the Midwest. Its stated goal is to not only unify health records but also to make them easily accessible to both patients and healthcare providers.

However, this swift aggregation of health data has raised concerns among critics like Stacey Skold, Ph.D., a board member of the Children’s Health Defense Nebraska Chapter. They view this development as a rapid move towards a digital ID system and potentially a central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Privacy advocates have furthered their apprehensions upon learning that CyncHealth is part of the CARIN Alliance, a global coalition that advocates for digital ID. CyncHealth’s affiliations with major corporations like Google and Microsoft, revealed during HIT Board meetings, have only added to these fears.

Greg Glaser, a prominent digital privacy expert, has echoed these concerns, suggesting that the rapid digitization of health data in Nebraska is a troubling sign. He warns that digital IDs could transcend their purported convenience, introducing a level of control over individuals that is unprecedented.

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