Poll Shows Consumers Unaware of the Extent Health Insurers Gather and Use Consumer-Generated Data

HIPAA Journal

Steve Alder

Health insurers are collecting online data about consumers and using the information to predict an individual’s likely healthcare costs. Consumer-generated data are collected and used to create profiles, which could be used to determine appropriate premiums.

Consumer-generated data is distinct from protected health information (PHI) and relates to an individual’s lifestyle, interests and behavior and come from many different public and private sources. Health insurers may scour online sources for information or obtain data from data brokers. Some data brokers are actively marketing their data to insurers and claim the information includes social determinants of health, such as online shopping habits, memberships to organizations, TV streaming habits, and information posted to social media networks. Data are amalgamated and algorithms can be used to predict the likely cost of providing insurance.

The collection and analysis of...

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