Jan. 21, 2015

Health Care Website Shares Information With Web Marketers

The “Affordable” Care Act demands not only more money, but people’s privacy. It’s not exactly clear why Healthcare.gov needs to share sensitive health information it has trolled from millions of users with web marketing companies. While the government told the Associated Press the web marketers analyze the data to “improve the customer experience,” there is little information about what is shared and how it is used. The AP reports, “[I]t can include age, income, ZIP code, whether a person smokes, and if a person is pregnant. It can include a computer’s Internet address, which can identify a person’s name or address when combined with other information collected by sophisticated online marketing or advertising firms.” According to Peter Suderman at Reason the health care website has had a dismal record protecting people’s data – the Government Accountability Office has proved that. Three can’t keep a secret. Especially if one doesn’t care about privacy and the other is compelled to disclose their private health information by government diktat.

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