Looking up medical info on the web poses a privacy risk


Researchers found that nine out of ten visits result in personal health information being leaked to third parties, including online advertisers and data brokers…

The vast majority of these requests go to a handful of online advertisers: Google collects user information from 78% of pages, comScore 38%, and Facebook 31%. Two data brokers, Experian and Acxiom, were also found on thousands of pages…

Libert points out that the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is not meant to police business practices by third party commercial entities or data brokers. The field of regulation is widely nonexistent in the U.S., meaning that individuals looking up health information online are left exposed and vulnerable.

The findings are reported in the article “Privacy Implications of Health Information Seeking on the Web,” appearing in the March 2015 issue of Communication of the ACM.

4 thoughts on “Looking up medical info on the web poses a privacy risk

  1. In a rigged game everyone is fair game. Modern capitalism is a rigged game. It’s a shame because when capitalism is played with rules and with a sense of justice it really is an excellent system for creating widespread prosperity.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Of course your searches go straight to advertisers. I laugh when I type “hormone” in a search box and banners for Viagra and HRT appear as fast as I can blink. They try so hard to angle for money I don’t have.

    Liked by 1 person

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