PositiveID's Latest Human Chip-Implant Scare Story: "Medical Identity Theft"

Last Updated Apr 6, 2010 11:25 AM EDT

When PositiveID (PSID), the company that makes implantable microchips that grant access to patients' online medical records, acquired the credit monitoring and identity theft company SteelVault, it was never quite clear how the two business would mesh together. Recently, however, PositiveID (formerly known as VeriChip) has indicated that it believes the two business should segue into one another via protection against medical identity theft, which, it claims, accounts for seven percent of all identity theft.

I previously assumed that PositiveID would put up firewalls between the two businesses, even though both units might share technologies. After all, who really wants their online medical records stored in the same place and accessed by the same chips as their credit rating and social security number? The answer is that about 20,000 people have already signed up for PositiveID's NationalCreditReport.com protection services. As you can see from CEO Scott R. Silverman's quote in the press release, he sees the medical and credit aspects of his business as two sides of the same coin:

In addition to helping consumers protect themselves from identity theft as it pertains to credit fraud, we are also focused on combating the growing problem of medical identity theft, which affects 7 percent of identity theft victims. Through our secure personal health record, Health Link, which is interoperable with Microsoft Health Vault and soon-to-be with Google Health, we put consumers in charge of their own health information through a robust, patient-controlled interface.
That "7 percent" statistic is interesting. A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute found that only 5.8 percent of ID theft cases involve medical identity theft. PositiveID's press release doesn't cite the source of the number. Perhaps PositiveID has the data lying around its offices somewhere.