Gotcha: If you don’t smoke, why are you buying Marlboros?

Consumers are signing up to share personal data at an alarming rate via sleep monitors, pedometers and activity trackers, dietary logs, brainwave monitors, grocery and restaurant loyalty cards, credit cards, Foursquare and Facebook check-ins, photo geotagging, and other digital means.


As insurers, lenders, and others attempt to manage risk, they will inevitably turn alternative data sources to round out the picture of each consumer applicant –

Here are some ways that companies can (and are) using the data they collect on you.


According to PandoDaily …,

Hospitals, insurers, and grocery retailers are already investigating ways to work together to translate consumer purchase data into health risk profiling insights.

For example, consider the information that can be available to insurance companies:

  • Your supermarket loyalty card logs your penchant for red meat and cigarettes … which can be  factored into your life expectancy.
  • Your pharmacy logs your OTC health purchases and prescriptions …  which can validate (or refute) your claims of  good health.
  • Your web connected heart monitor provides your real-time vital statistics … current readings, and their trends.
  • Your On-Star account logs your GPS info …  where you’ve been and how fast you drove to get there.

Pando warns:

It’s not only just the first tier company that has the potential to share consumer data, but every

  • dashboard
  • analytics platform
  • gamification service
  • social sharing tool

…  and other related product that is granted access to the underlying service.

Your personal data security is only as strong as the weakest link in your online self ecosystem.

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