GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Who hasn't searched for a medical condition online? Many of us try to diagnose ourselves before we even go to the doctor -- but there is unsettling new research that shows you why your online searches aren't safe.
Much like when you’re online shopping, ads start popping up for the items you were looking at. Some medical companies are doing the same thing, but taking it one step further.
There is a company called AcurianHealth which connects people to clinical trials. It sounds innocent, but they are doing this by purchasing lifestyle data which looks at your online searches and then sends letters to your home about clinical trials based on those searches.
For instance, say you searched eczema -- you might get a letter in the mail informing about clinical trials for this skin condition.
Data companies are able to pull information from pharmacies and social networks.
Say you read a blog about eczema. Each time you open a web page, Facebook page or blog page -- your visit gets recorded through your IT address and BOOM! They know what you've been searching. This, unfortunately, is all public information.
You can read more about it at Gizmodo.com.
►Make it easy to keep up to date with more stories like this. Download the WZZM 13 app now.
© 2017 WZZM-TV