Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 1-25
  3. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 27-48
  4. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 49-66
  5. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 67-94
  6. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 95-113
  7. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 115-131
  8. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 133-148
  9. Mary F. E. Ebeling
    Pages 149-156
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 157-170

About this book


This highly original book is an ethnographic noir of how Big Data profits from patient private health information. The book follows personal health data as it is collected from inside healthcare and beyond to create patient consumer profiles that are sold to marketers. Primarily told through a first-person noir narrative, Ebeling as a sociologist-hard-boiled-detective, investigates Big Data and the trade in private health information by examining the information networks that patient data traverses. The noir narrative reveals the processes that the data broker industry uses to create data commodities—data phantoms or the marketing profiles of patients that are bought by advertisers to directly market to consumers. Healthcare and Big Data considers the implications these “data phantoms” have for patient privacy as well as the very real harm that they can cause.


Big data private health information health privacy marketing surveillance healthcare capitalism HIPAA data brokers direct and database marketing direct-to-consumer marketing Big Data health healthcare

Authors and affiliations

  • Mary F.E. Ebeling
    • 1
  1. 1.Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, New York
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-1-137-50220-9
  • Online ISBN 978-1-137-50221-6
  • Buy this book on publisher's site