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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 HatchOrrin Hatch Foundation seeking million in taxpayer money to fund new center in his honor Mitch McConnell has shown the nation his version of power grab Overnight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — Utah Senate votes to scale back Medicaid expansion | Virginia abortion bill reignites debate | Grassley invites drug execs to testify | Conservative groups push back on e-cig crackdown MORE (Utah) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHigh stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown Grassley raises voice after McConnell interrupts Senate speech 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.