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Health officials are scaling back the amount of consumer data shared with private companies amid privacy concerns for consumers on the federal ObamaCare exchange. 

The Obama administration made changes to the HealthCare.gov website that limit the amount of data available to third parties for marketing or analysis, The Associated Press reported Friday afternoon.


It's unclear the scope of data on the site still available to third parties. 

The move marks a reversal from earlier this week, when officials defended the data sharing with private firms. The administration said it helped improve technology and marketing for the exchanges and insisted companies could not use the data for private gain.

"We believe that the use of these tools are common and represent best practices for a typical e-commerce site," Aaron Albright, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in a statement shared with The Hill.

However, questions over the privacy and security of the data were raised after reports that the information shared included a person's age, income, ZIP code, pregnancy status and computer IP address, which can be used to help identify an individual's location. 

Republican Sens. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  MORE (Utah) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenate Republicans face tough decision on replacing Ginsburg What Senate Republicans have said about election-year Supreme Court vacancies Biden says Ginsburg successor should be picked by candidate who wins on Nov. 3 MORE (Iowa) sent a letter to the administration on Tuesday saying the flow of data was "extremely concerning, not only because it violates the privacy of millions of Americans, but because it may potentially compromise their security."

An administration spokesman said data privacy and security for consumers was a "top priority" and that officials follow "the leading industry standards to keep their information secure and private."

HealthCare.gov continues to list "contractors that perform functions for the Marketplace to accomplish the specific functions they’re engaged to perform" as well as third parties it may share information with: insurance companies, government agencies and employers, to determine eligibility.

The Associated Press initially published news of the ObamaCare data sharing just hours before President Obama was set to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night. In that speech he pushed a number of cyber initiatives, including more protection for private online data.

Obama did not mention the HealthCare.gov website in his speech, nor did he mention ObamaCare's current enrollment period, which ends Feb. 15. That was a sharp contrast from last year, when the president touted improvements in the website after a troubling launch.