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CNN Reports: Privacy concerns permeate workplace wellness programs

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Nice to see that the mainstream media has caught up to us in raising the call about wellness programs as an affront to worker privacy. Better late than never.

Privacy advocates see a void of regulation or even voluntary standards to ensure the information is used as intended. By all accounts the amount of worker wellness data being collected — through the Web, company surveys, wearable devices, gym records and lab tests — is exploding.

“The privacy issues are profound,” said Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, an advocacy group. “If people are being asked to wear a biometric electronic device, or use a mobile app or work within a wellness program, that data can be used in ways that may be very, very surprising to people.”

Numerous wellness vendors say flatly that privacy is critical to their reputation and that they don’t share information on individual workers with employers, data brokers or marketing companies. But as the Houston employees found out, the fine print isn’t so plain or reassuring.

Quizzify Q in B and W

Quizzify asks employees for zero personal health information

Read the entire CNN/Kaiser Health News article here. We encourage employees not to divulge personal information on HRAs and other intrusive surveys.  Most people don’t need us to tell them that.  If HRA information is to be believed, we are a nation of teetotalers and occasional social drinkers.

Your health information is your business.  That’s why we started Quizzify. No personal health information requested or recorded. EVER.


  1. mspacey4415 says:

    Why does this site hate wellness so much? I’m not familiar with the issue and would like to learn about it. This site has some interesting exposes about how wellness doesn’t work but after reading a few posts I’m still not clear on what the main complaints are, and what you’re advocating. Do you have a concise summary somewhere on the main concerns (If you have to give 3 main reasons against wellness, what would they be? is it the privacy issue ? increases in out of pocket costs? mandatory sign up? ) And what are the proposed alternatives? I’m just curious why people hate it so much. thanks


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      That’s a great question. I think we love wellness. (Both the principals on this site “Walk the walk”. In my case, literally. I am signed up for a stair-climbing race to the top of Boston’s tallest building, to raise money for MS.) But what most wellness vendors advocate isn’t wellness. What they advocate, as you can see from examples, is forcing employees to do things that employees hate, that have nothing to do with their jobs, and in the majority of cases are things that government clinical guidelines don’t advocate. By contrast, we support employers doing wellness FOR employee, not TO employees. So making it easier to stay healthy — better food, more exercise opportunities — is terrific.


    • Tom Emerick says:

      Company-sponsored wellness is expensive, doesn’t work, harms people, and its vendors never measures the full cost of wellness programs, thereby deceiving their clients.



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