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Depressed Woman Loses Health Benefits – Insurer Looked at Facebook

Posted Nov 23 2009 10:01pm

I knew it wouldn’t be too long before we started seeing stories like this on the web.  I have said this many, many times, what goes on the web, stays on the web, so think twice as one cache does it all.  In this case in Canada they found “happy pictures” of her at the beach, this during the time where she was off work due to depression.  Obviously she couldn’t say this was part of her required therapy, or would they believe it, probably not.  image

The company says that was not the entire reason for terminating her insurance, but did admit they use social networks to investigate clients, so be careful what you put on the web.  This is a warning that more than just your friends and buddies are mining this data.  She claims her profile was locked but all it takes is a buddy to do some quick screenshots or some other fashion of getting the information out when they have access and it’s all over.  BD 

A Canadian woman claims she has lost her health benefits after her insurance company used her Facebook pictures as evidence that she was no longer depressed.

Nathalie Blanchard had been on sick leave for a year from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec, after being diagnosed with severe depression. The 29-year old was receiving sick pay from insurer Manulife. …in a written statement sent to CBC News, the insurer said: “We would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook.” It confirmed that it uses the popular social networking site to investigate clients.

It’s a case that adds fuel to the privacy debate, especially given that Blanchard claims her Facebook photos were private. Are we entering an unsettling new reality in which insurance companies are able to deny claims based on Tweets and Facebook pictures?

Depressed Woman Loses Health Benefits for Happy Pics on Facebook

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