Featured Article: Contact Tracing – What Martin Data is Doing to Help

Contact Trace Search Screen

In our previous articles, we spoke to a lead contact tracer named Steven who worked for the health department of a major Midwest city. Our questions mostly concerned what his job looks like on a day-to-day and what kinds of tools he uses to do his work. To continue our Contact Tracing series of articles, we’d like to explore some of the things Martin Data is doing to help the industry.

When in early March, when it became obvious that COVID-19 was going to be a world-changing crisis, the Martin Data team got together and brainstormed about how we could help.

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What is Contact Tracing? And How is it done?

Contact Tracing

Last time we talked about what contact tracing is and why it’s so important. We interviewed Steven, a lead contact tracer for a large mid-west city’s health department, and he walked us through what his day typically looks like. This time we’ll continue our interview with Steven and explore some of the tools and methods that these contact tracers use to find individuals who may have been exposed.

We continue our interview below, asking Steven what sort of information is most useful in his course of work

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What is Contact Tracing? And why is it so important?

Contact Tracing

An interview with a COVID-19 contact tracer

Contact Tracing is the process of finding and contacting individuals who may have been exposed to an infectious disease. Sometimes it’s a result of them having been at a location or event that had infected people and sometimes it’s a result of them having come in direct contact with an infected individual. It’s a technique that dates back centuries.

One of the most famous uses of this technique was to identify Mary Mallon (1969-1936), aka: the infamous “Typhoid Mary” who infected upwards of 50 people and ultimately caused the death of at least 3. I highly suggest reading her fascinating history on both the NIH website and Wikipedia

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GDPR: A Year In Review: Part 2

Closeup of padlocks laid out on document containing GDPR legislative text.

In our previous article, we spoke about some of the copy-cat laws that have popped up within the United States in response to the GDPR – things like California’s CCPA and New York’s SHIELD law. In this article, we wanted to focus on the ever changing landscape of regulations within the US.

Pitfalls of individual state (and local) regulations are not new to businesses nor the consumer. I’m sure a good portion of our readers know what it’s like trying to find alcohol in a dry county – or perhaps you’ve noticed the incredible differences in gun laws in one state to the next.

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GDPR: A Year in Review: Part 1

Closeup of padlocks laid out on document containing GDPR legislative text.

It’s been one year since the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was implemented. We wanted to see what other regulations have passed since then as a result. What seedlings have sprouted?

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The importance of credentialing: A case study

Part of our credentialing process is to make sure that there is one “responsible party” on file. This is the person who signs on the dotted line saying that they will not abuse the service, that they’ll pay the bill, and all that fun stuff. Read More »

How long does it take for a new address to appear in our data?

Changing your address

Believe it or not, this is a question we don’t get asked very much – and you’d think we would! It’s a very important measure of data quality. If I move to a new house today, how long will it take for that new address to appear on USInfoSearch? What sorts of changes might cause that new address to appear on USInfoSearch?

The short answer? Around 2 weeks. The long answer? That all depends…

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How do we protect our data?

Data Security

Data security is a big concern in today’s world. So how does USInfoSearch secure its data from unauthorized access?

2-Factor Authentication – All accounts on USInfoSearch are protected using 2-factor authentication. When you enter your username and password, we’ll send you a text message with a validation code. You’ll have just a few minutes to enter that code in order to complete the login process. This ensures that only the account holder can gain access to our data and your account.

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Understanding DPPA

DPPA Data

What is the DPPA?

DPPA stands for “Driver’s Privacy Protection Act” and it prevents people from using DMV data for non-approved purposes. Permitted purposes include vehicle recalls, government use, use by insurance companies, vehicle towing, toll roads, and more. To read the full list of permitted purposes, see this wikipedia article.

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What is BLJ Data and Where Does it Come From?

Dollars!

“BLJ” stands for “Bankruptcies, Liens, and Judgments.” They are civil court records that include information such as: amount owed, date filed, filing number, court name, chapter (for bankruptcies), and case status. Lien and Judgment records are filed on a per-county basis and are therefore hard to get complete coverage for. Bankruptcies are all filed through the federal government and, as a result, tend to be more comprehensive and complete.

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