Before the story airs: Is your private info being sold?

Posted May 19, 2014 5:49 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2014 6:57 p.m. EDT

Monica Laliberte

When it comes to personal health issues, most of us consider them private. We don’t openly share information about our health problems with complete strangers.

So it’s unsettling, at best, to find out that information – private information about each of us as individuals – is easily available and sold by many companies. The industry is called data mining and few consumers know anything about it. I wanted to know more about how companies get the information, what they do with it and what we can do about it.

WRAL's 5 On Your Side easily bought thousands of names and addresses of local men and women suffering from serious health conditions, including depression, diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure.

Watch my investigation Monday at 5:30 p.m. We dig into the dubious business of data mining and show you how most of us just give away our private, personal health information. We'll also identify three things you can do right now to stop data miners.