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Health insurers: With great power over data comes great responsibility

March 24th, 2016

by Leslie Small

Like many Americans, I have long since accepted that yes, Big Brother is watching and no, we can't really do anything about it.

But just when I'm resigned to the fact that privacy is a myth in the digital age, something surfaces that makes me wonder, "how in the world did they get that information?" Most recently, it was a postcard promoting wedding stationary, sent to my D.C. address, which contained a near-spot-on version of the colors I chose for my upcoming wedding.

While I've likely at some point opted into a way for the vendor to learn where I live and what colors I like, it underscores just how unaware we are these days who is selling what data about us to whom. It's only mildly weird when it's your wedding details--it would be straight up alarming if it were your personal medical information.

Which brings me to a fascinating report from IDC Health Insights I wrote about this week that offers health insurers advice for engaging with customers in an increasingly consumer-centric landscape. Nestled in among other sage business advice, author Jeff Rivkin warns against the "shadow of the creep factor" when payers engage with members.

>>Read the full commentary at FierceHealthPayer

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