Since ‘we’ don’t trust the government to run healthcare, we end up with bullshit like this:
When retired web developer Catherine Kunicki tried to sign up for her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in downtown Brooklyn, the AdvantageCare Physicians website rejected her. She received an error message that her identity couldn’t be verified through Experian, a credit monitoring company.
When Motherboard tested the AdvantageCare Physicians website (as a hypothetical 65+ Brooklyn resident), we confirmed that it is using Experian to verify patients’ identities. The website claims that AdvantageCare Physicians does not get information about a patient’s credit score. But Experian is a credit reporting company and big data company, and the tool the vaccine scheduling website is using verifies identities by using information that shows up in people’s Experian credit histories.
This is a problem for a lot of reasons. One-in-five Americans is “credit invisible” or has poor credit, according to a report from the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development. Black Americans are more likely to have poor credit; they are also disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Still, this Experian tool and tools like it—collectively called remote identity proofing—are used for all sorts of things they shouldn’t be: “The remote identity proofing (RIDP) process confirms an applicant’s identity based on their credit information,” the Corporation for Enterprise Development report states. “This process has a success rate of only 78 percent, and applicants with little or no credit history and the millions of victims of identity theft cannot complete an RIDP.”