After the Associated Press (AP) reported that was unwittingly providing customer privacy information to third-party companies and individuals, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it was adding new layers of security to the site.

The privacy data could be viewed by third parties after health insurance consumers visited the Obamacare site and used the online calculator to get estimates for a policy. The “Window Shopping tool,” as HHS calls it, would collect information on zip code, income, age, and parental, pregnancy and smoking status and then create a page with that information on it. That page could be found and viewed by savvy outsiders.

“This URL is now encrypted and helps prevent third parties from viewing the data the consumer entered,” according to a post on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) blog over the weekend. The post added that “building and maintaining a website is an evolving process,” so CMS said it would continue to review and improve

The blog entry was signed by Kevin Counihan, director and marketplace chief executive officer (CEO)

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