There’s a data gold rush going on in the United States and without regulation, it’s turning into a Wild West of data mining. Modern humans generate tons of data exhaust every single day: what you buy, what you eat, what you watch, where you live and work and what you do in your free time. These activities and habits may speak volumes about your health risk factors – and therefore how expensive you will be to cover with health insurance. In today’s show, I’ll share some chilling insights from a conference where data brokers and health insurers are using this data to predict how much it will cost them to insure you – and potentially raise your rates or even find ways to avoid covering you at all.

In other news, Apple has released a new privacy feature to protect your iPhone from hacking, the popular mobile payment firm Venmo is sharing your transaction information with the world, researchers have developed an app to stop your laser printer from tattling on you, and Google’s new Confidential Mode email isn’t so confidential.

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Carey Parker began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.

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