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Turow co-authors a warning about posting personal health records online

Joseph Turow co-authored an op-ed article published today in the San Francisco Chronicle. “Why Marketers Want Inside Your Medicine Cabinet” describes the potential threats to privacy if personal health records are posted online by a for-profit marketer of health information.

WebMD, an online provider of health information, recently announced a free service that will allow consumers to store and maintain their personal health data on the WebMD site. Turow and his co-authors say the idea “should raise alarm bells, because Madison Avenue has a long history of covertly trolling for consumers’ personal information for marketing.”

Turow collaborated on the article with Robert Gellman, a privacy and information policy consultant in Washington, D.C., and Judith Turow, a pediatrician and clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.