For decades, “data mining” — finding correlations or patterns among large amounts of information — has been a successful tool for government agencies to combat Medicare fraud. But this technique now goes beyond uncovering criminals and has become a multibillion-dollar industry.
See also: HHS task force to tackle Medicare scams.
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Despite concerns over privacy, data mining is increasingly popular with private companies who use the information to learn more about their consumers. The problem, says Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst for the American Civil Liberty Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, is that some of these databases are wildly inaccurate and their findings could have dire consequences for your future. This, he says, is the “dark side of data mining.”
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