(FOX NEWS) A government data warehouse stores personal information forever on millions of people who seek coverage under President Obama’s health care law, including those who open an account on HealthCare.gov but don’t sign up for coverage.

At a time when major breaches have become distressingly common, the vast scope of the information — and the lack of a clear plan for destroying old records — have raised concerns about privacy and the government’s judgment on technology.

“A basic privacy principle is that you don’t retain data any longer than you have to,” said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The more data you keep, the more harm an attacker or unauthorized person can do.”

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