In the latest sign of desperation to get paying people signed up for ObamaCare before the end of the year, the state-run Covered California handed over the contact information of those who signed up to check out the coverage options but did not ask to be contacted about said options. The Los Angeles Times reports:

Raising concerns about consumer privacy, California’s health exchange has given insurance agents the names and contact information for tens of thousands of people who went online to check out coverage but didn’t ask to be contacted.

The Covered California exchange said it started handing out this consumer information this week as part of a pilot program to help people enroll ahead of a Dec. 23 deadline to have health insurance in place by Jan. 1.

State officials said they are only trying to help potential customers find insurance and sign up in time. But some insurance brokers and consumers who were contacted said they were astonished by the state’s move.

How astonished? The story quotes Sam Smith, the president of the California Association of Health Underwriters as saying that, if he contacted those people, they would have a legitimate complaint. Smith does have a couple of names from this policy that he had chosen to not contact when the Times contacted him.

It does pay to actually read the privacy policy. Assuming that the current notice of privacy practices was also in force since October 1, there is not much California residents can do if they head to their exchange from getting cold calls and the electronic equivalent from insurance agencies. From the notice (emphasis in the original):

HOW WE MAY USE AND SHARE YOUR INFORMATION

We will use your information to help you see what health insurance is available for you and to refer you to health plans and other governmental entities that can help you get health insurance….

YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS

You have the rights listed below:…

Restrictions on uses and disclosures: You can ask us not to use or share your information in the ways we listed above. We may not be able to agree with your request. If your request is about an item or service that you paid for, we must agree with your request.

That begs the question of why Covered California did the charade of asking whether one wanted one’s personal information to be kept private.