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Healthcare.gov Reliability Issues

Written by Oreoluwa Alebiosu on July 6, 2014.

It has been difficult if not impossible to sign up, and customer service has been inadequate. According to the Slate.com's article- 'What really went wrong with healthcare.gov?', 'the healthcare.gov's biggest problems are most likely not in the front-end code of the site's Web pages, but in the back-end, server-side code that handles-or doesn't handle-the registration process, which no one can see. There are a few clues, however. The site's front end (the actual Web pages and bits of script) doesn't look too bad, but it is not coping well with whatever scaling issues the back end (account storage, database lookups, etc.) is having' (Auerbach).

David Auerbach, the author of the article, 'What really went wrong with healthcare.gov?', explained that he tried to sign up for the federal marketplace six days after rollout. The site claimed to be working, but after he started the registration process, he sat on a 'Please Wait' page for 10 minutes before being redirected to an error page: 'Sorry, we can't find that page on HealthCare.gov' (Auerbach).

Roughly 22,000 Americans have filed appeals with the government to try to get mistakes corrected, according to internal government data obtained by The Washington Post. They contend that the computer system for the new federal online marketplace charged them too much for health insurance, steered them into the wrong insurance program or denied them coverage entirely. Although the government plans to address this issue and fix the said errors there are still ethical and moral ramifications of the issue (Goldstein). More >>


Philosophical Study of The Government, Big Data and Privacy

Written by Oreoluwa Alebiosu on July 22, 2014.

I read the 'Coalition Urge White House to Listen to Public on "Big Data and Privacy"' article from the Electronic Privacy Information Center's Web site (www.epic.org) and decided to make my latest blog post about this issue from a philosophical perspective. The article discussed the petition by EPIC and 24 other consumer privacy, public interest, scientific, and educational organizations to the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy to accept public comments on the Big Data and The Future of Privacy study now underway. The Office of Science and Technology Policy's primary function is to advise the President on scientific and technological issues.


Furthermore, the President announced the Big Data review during a recent speech on NSA reform. The article later explained that the petition calls on the Office of Science and Technology Policy to incorporate the concerns and opinions of the public and lays out a number of important questions to consider, including whether current laws are adequate and also whether it is possible to maximize the benefits of big data while minimizing the risks to privacy.

This privacy issue is very common and has dominated the news pages this past year. The government is in search of private data about people through big companies while violating people's privacy rights. According to Spinello, the control theory and restricted access theory stands out when we review privacy. Jim Moore and Herman Tavani coined information privacy in terms of 'restricted access/ limited control,' which Spinello finally settled upon on being the most appropriate definition. Concluding that privacy is a condition or state of limited accessibility. If the government gains control, through these companies, of people's private information, they are in violation of their privacy. More >>