Photo by Charles Mason
Every year the Communication and Journalism Department of the University of Alaska Fairbanks extends an invitation to a distinguished journalist to come north and serve as the Snedden Chair of Journalism. This year, former Reuters bureau chief and correspondent Adam Tanner occupies the post. Tanner has also served as a fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Quantitative Social Science. His 2014 book What Stays in Vegas: The World of Personal Data-Lifeblood of Big Business- and the End of Privacy as We Know It found its way onto the Washington Post’s list of 50 notable works of non-fiction for that year.
But it was the recent release of his second book, Our Bodies, Our Data: How Companies Make Billions Selling Our Medical Records that prompted me to invite him in for a conversation. As you’ll hear, you may think medical information on you is private. But as Tanner explains, anonymity isn’t what it used to be.