Bookmark: "HealthCare.gov Sends Personal Data to Dozens of Tracking Websites"

Sebastian Greger

Bookmarked:

Commercial tracking of web users is a massive problem. Even more so, when people browse seemingly trustworthy websites (as the government’s official sites, in this case) and those leak personal information – here potentially revealing something about that user’s health or health concerns – to third parties.

Even more troubling is the potential for companies like Doubleclick, Google, Twitter, Yahoo, and others to associate this data with a person’s actual identity. Google, thanks to real name policies, certainly has information uniquely identifying someone using Google services. If a real identity is linked to the information received from healthcare.gov it would be a massive violation of privacy for users of the site.

This is also valid for private website operators on sensitive topics – if you tell a commercial tracking entity what your users are reading on your site, you might contribute to building opaque, and potentially dangerous, profiles on them that nobody can control.

I'm Sebastian, Sociologist and Interaction Designer. This journal is mostly about bringing toge­ther social science and design for inclusive, privacy-focused, and sustainable "human-first" digital strategies. I also tend to a "digital garden" with carefully curated resources.

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