The epidemic is here too and while companies say they are abiding by HIPAA rules, there’s a ton of information out there not covered by HIPAA and we have the good old credit people in here again making more money selling your information to these companies.  They all want to “qualify” you as a candidate.  Certainly that is part of the process of course to find candidates that fix the trials but how far do they go? image

A couple of companies mentioned in the article include Blue Chip Marketing and Acurian.  We have big data here at work again trying to find out what they can using whatever methodologies they can get their hands on.  Acurian connected up back with i3 back in 2009 when it was still a subsidiary of United Healthcare.  A couple history links below.

i3 An Ingenix Company (United Health Care) Partners With Acurian For Business Intelligence With Clinical Trials Marketing for Investigators
Ingenix (Subsidiary of United Health Group) Sells i3 Clinical Trials And Creates Life Sciences Group-Subsidiary Watch

It’s interesting reading the final couple paragraphs of this article as it made me think of the flawed data on my car insurance a while back where the new owners of my house that I sold got listed on my policy long after I had moved.  Anyway one woman said she donates so diabetes causes and does not have diabetes, but yet she gets call after call wanting to enroll her in a trial and after 6 calls she reported the company to the FTC.  They are doing all of the data selling and analytics so fast these days with little concern for accuracy, the flaws and mismatched data are building up and attacking consumers right and left.   Acurian has over 500 complaints at the FTC about their marketing so it’ going hot and heavy in the intrusive marketing that steps all over privacy and ethics. 

From reading this article it sounds like some of these companies too, just like insurers are also buying up your Visa and MasterCard records, which offers around 30 years of all kinds of data about you, depending on how old you are.  By the way MasterCard is hiring engineers to even delve deeper here and find more outlets to sell their data, reported this a couple days ago. 

MasterCard Recruiting Software Engineers For New e-Commerce Technology Lab, Maybe More Slicing and Dicing of Our Data To Sell to Insurance Companies for One? Be Wary of Corporate “Algo Dupers” Out There Feeding on “Non Skeptical Consumers”…

Here’s what the FTC needs to do and I laid it out pretty well at this post a while back, excise MasterCard Recruiting Software Engineers For New e-Commerce Technology Lab, Maybe More Slicing and Dicing of Our Data To Sell to Insurance Companies for One? Be Wary of Corporate “Algo Dupers” Out There Feeding on “Non Skeptical Consumers”…tax and license ALL data sellers so we get an index who they are, otherwise FTC is useless or for God’s sakes, maybe they like it that way.  Until we get an index of all who sell data, be assured as a consumer greedy companies everywhere will just run you over and expect all of us to be their free labor to fix their flawed data as we get stuck, after they make millions and billions selling it.  BD 

FTC Tries to Bring Strong Case for Consumer Protections With Use of Data–But Nothing About Creating IT Infrastructure Path to Allow Regulation–Gov Can’t or Won’t Model?

Myself for a regulating agency I can’t believe they are that stupid in not realizing they need an index to identify who all the data sellers are before any laws or rules make a difference.  Step one is needed.  BD 

Some health-care companies are pulling back the curtain on medical privacy without ever accessing personal medical records, by probing readily available information from data brokers, pharmacies and social networks that offer indirect clues to an individual's health.

Companies specializing in patient recruitment for clinical trials use hundreds of data points—from age and race to shopping habits—to identify the sick and target them with telemarketing calls and direct-mail pitches to participate in research.

Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide, a drug-industry contractor, found patients for an obesity drug by targeting people with characteristics suggestive of a sedentary lifestyle, like subscribing to premium cable TV and frequent fast-food dining. Acurian Inc., one of the largest recruitment companies, says innocuous personal details—a preference for jazz, owning a cat or participation in sweepstakes—helped it home in on patients for an arthritis study.

Experian EXPN.LN -0.28% PLC, the Dublin, Ireland-based data broker and credit-reporting company, says its marketing-services unit sells data to numerous health-care marketing companies. "However, we do not share any protected health information, and therefore are not providing data that would fall into HIPAA requirements," says Gerry Tschopp, senior vice president for public affairs.

Acurian, which has worked with large drug and medical-device companies such as Eli Lilly LLY -0.40% & Co. and Medtronic Inc., MDT +0.81% has been the subject of more than 500 complaints to the FTC over the past two years, alleging violations of telemarketing laws, according to records obtained through a public records request. The FTC hasn't taken any actions against Acurian, said agency spokesman Mitchell Katz. The commission doesn't comment on current investigations as a matter of policy, he said.


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