Privacy Concerns Surround Healthcare.gov Website

Last week, the Associated Press reported consumers’ information, such as income and tobacco usage, collected through healthcare.gov was being leaked to private companies. It was also reported that various companies had “embedded connections” on Healthcare.gov, which raised privacy concerns among industry experts. Since this analysis, it seems the Obama administration has boosted security protections, reducing the number of enabled connection to private companies through the website dropped from 50 to 30 as of Saturday. The administration has also since made an attempt to reduce the release of personal information from Healthcare.gov.

Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov, said in a statement on Saturday,

We are looking at whether there are additional steps we should take to improve our efforts. While this process is ongoing, we have taken action that we believe helps further increase consumer privacy.”

Age, income, zip code, tobacco usage and pregnancy information are among the medical details no longer permitted to be released. However, the healthcare.gov still has a number of embedded connections to commercial websites. Privacy advocates argue the government website should not be able to send consumers’ personal information to companies that can then analyzing and advertise the data for performance and marketing purposes.

Cooper Quintin, staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, commented,

HealthCare.gov should meet good privacy standards for all its users.”

Further security enhancements are expected to be implemented.

 

Read more here- “Analyst: Government Seems to Be Making Changes to Protect Consumers Information on Health Site,” (Jack Gillum and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press)

 

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Olivia is a graduate of Villanova University where she studied Economics and History, minoring in Gender and Women's Studies. She also has experience working with federal legislatures on health care policy, women's issues, and Internet safety.

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