Consumers largely unaware that insurers have access to their online data: survey

An abstract image of data
A new survey examines consumers' attitudes toward how insurers are gathering and using their data. (whiteMocca/Shutterstock)

Consumers are largely unaware of the extent to which their health plans can access data about their online shopping, social media or streaming habits, a new survey shows.

MITRE and The Harris Poll surveyed more than 2,000 adults in June, and found that just 11% believe their health plans have access to what's known as consumer-generated data, which can be used to build profiles of members to predict their health costs.

This data is separate from protect health data, and tracks things like online activity and social media posts.

Consumers expressed discomfort with their insurer or employer obtaining such data, the poll found. While a majority said it's fine for their plans (60%) or employer (52%) to use their personal information to create tailored programs, two-thirds said it was unacceptable for these organizations to gather or purchase outside data about them.

RELATED: Americans will have 'access to their health information on their smartphones,' Trump admin says of HHS rules

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