It seems CBS Broadcasting has teamed with the advertising giant Marden-Kane, Inc. and Loews Regency Hotel to develop the CBS Cares Colonoscopy Sweepstakes open to 40-79 year olds. Yep, that's right: people under 50 are eligible, even though they should not be screened for colon cancer.
The website states:
"When the colonoscopy is about to begin, you'll be given drugs which will make you feel like you're at Woodstock... only without the music. If you start to believe that you actually are at Woodstock (for example, Dr. Miskovitz starts to look like Jimi Hendrix or you feel inclined to say "far out!" in response to questions), please report the side effect to Dr. Miskovitz or Jimi Hendrix (whomever you see first) immediately."While sounding like I might have a cob up my... well, you know... I wonder, what in the world are they promoting? A free "high" or colon cancer screening? Is this how we discuss screening tests now? Where are the risks of colonsocopy and sedation discussed? How will the list of people who register for the "free" colonoscopy that don't win be used? I wonder, will they be targeted later by the posh Center for Specialty Care, with its origins in plastic surgery and where the colonscopy will presumably take place, for mailings about more testing?
We're not sure.
But we are told on CBS's website:
"If you post personal information in User Forums or on other publicly available areas of the Web Sites then you may receive unsolicited messages from third parties. Company cannot ensure the security of any information you post on publicly available areas of the Web Sites. Under no circumstances will we be liable in any way for any of Your Upload Information including, but not limited to, any errors or omissions in Your Upload Information, or for any loss or damage of any kind incurred as a result of Your Upload Information."Furthermore:
"Your Upload Information will be treated as non-confidential and non-proprietary and we will not be liable for any use or disclosure to anyone, including but not limited to claimed intellectual property owners. When you upload Your Upload Information via the Web Sites, you irrevocably grant to Company, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and partners a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license containing, without limitation, all right, title and interest in Your Upload Information, including, without limitation, all patents, trademarks, service marks, trade names, trade identities, copyrights, trade secrets, logos, domain names, know-how, source code and object code, mask-work rights, inventions, moral rights, author's rights, algorithms, rights in packaging, goodwill and other intellectual property and proprietary rights whatsoever in Your Upload Information. You further agree that Company, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and partners and the directors, officers, employees, licensees and other representatives of each of them will have the unfettered right throughout the universe, in perpetuity, without any credit or compensation to you, to use, reuse, modify, alter, display, archive, publish, sub-license, perform, reproduce, disclose, transmit, broadcast, post, sell, translate, create derivative works of, distribute and use for advertising, marketing, publicity and promotional purposes, any of Your Upload Information or portions of Your Upload Information, and your name, voice, likeness and other identifying information, in any form, media, software or technology of any kind now known or developed in the future for any purposes whatsoever including, without limitation, developing, manufacturing and marketing products using such Uploaded Information. You hereby waive any moral rights you may have in and to any of Your Upload Information, even if such material is altered or changed in a manner not agreeable to you. You agree and understand that Company, its parent, subsidiaries, affiliates, and partners are not obligated to use Your Upload Information submitted through the Web Sites or otherwise, and may alternatively choose to discard, and limit or block access to Your Uploaded Information without any liability whatsoever."Now if these rules don't fly in the face of the privacy intent of HIPAA, I don't know what does. What's worse is this whole cute charade is being "supported and helped" by our own National Cancer Institute.
Here's the thing: CBS, through this sweepstake, is offering free health care to one lucky "winner." As such, shouldn't this media company be bound by HIPAA privacy laws, too? Does this campaign really have the patient's best interests at heart or is this really about driving more business to gastroenterologists? Finally, if cancer is found on the screening and the patient is uninsured, who will assume responsibility for ongoing treatment of the patient?
Oh, but we're not asking those questions...
... because that wouldn't be so funny.