Healthcare.gov announces security upgrade

In response to continuing security concerns, Healthcare.gov is offering federal health insurance exchange customers a new privacy management option.

Following the site's troubled launch, security issues have been at the forefront of concerns about Healthcare.gov, and a recent government report highlighted problems with a massive federal database that stores exchange customers' information. 

To address some of these concerns, Kevin Counihan, CEO of Healthcare.gov, announced that the marketplace is offering a new "Do Not Track" privacy management option, which allows users to opt out of any embedded third-party analytical trackers. These trackers, which record information such as a user's age, ZIP code, smoking status, income or pregnancy status, would be turned off when the "Do Not Track" option is selected.

Individual websites are not currently required to honor the "Do Not Track" option, but every major browser will provide the ability to turn the setting on. Users who select this option will still have the same access to all the Healthcare.gov site features, as it will not limit any access to the site.

Civil liberties groups are hailing the new measure, according to The Hill. But while it applauds the new option being available on all browsers, the group Consumer Watchdog wants the Federal Communications Commission to require individual webpage providers to comply with the "Do Not Track" requests. So far, it has not been successful, the article notes.

In addition to the security upgrade, Healthcare.gov recently announced that it will simplify consumers' ability to search for information on doctors, medications and plan costs. 

To learn more:
- read Counihan's blog post
- here's HealthCare.gov's privacy policy
- read The Hill's report

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