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Daily Dashboard | Insurance companies turn to 'lifestyle data' to predict costs Related reading: US executive order will address brokers' sensitive data transfers to 'countries of concern'




NPR reports on a growing trend within the health insurance industry to partner with data brokers in an attempt to gather the personal details of Americans. Hoping to use “lifestyle” data to predict future health costs, various companies collect consumer details to provide predictions on how much a person’s medical costs could be. Eric McCulley, director of strategic solutions for LexisNexis Risk Solutions, said, "We sit on oceans of data," adding, “The fact is, our data is in the public domain.” Some have raised concern over the possibility of increased discrimination, particularly among vulnerable populations. Speaking on pulling lifestyle data points from TV habits, ethnicity and mail-order purchases as factors for future medical costs, Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, said “I find that enormously offensive as a list,” adding, “This is not health data. This is inferred data."
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