Trusting Tech Companies With Health Data

Amid the recent data breach and misuse scandals surrounding technology companies such as Facebook, the linked article notes that “[i]t is an interesting time for a tech company to be asking for a urine sample.” And yet alongside emerging developments in consumer health technology, that’s precisely just what might happen.

The linked article points to various new technologies which help consumers collect information about and monitor their health, from sperm count to blood pressure. Questions about how consumers’ data will be handled mount–the lack of data exchange can limit the benefits of this technology, but privacy considerations might weigh in favor of only opt-in, anonymized data sharing. At present, entrepreneurs seem to be cognizant of the privacy concerns and understand the importance of responsibly handling consumer data. But, then again, as we’ve seen before, talk is cheap.

One CEO assures us: “We’re not, like, selling to pharmaceutical companies.” An interesting question involves how consumers can hold these companies accountable so that they might entrust these companies with some of their most private information.

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LINK: Data Mining Our Bodies (by Katherine Bindley for Wall Street Journal [gated])

Companies are planning to get personal—very personal—at the 2019 CES technology show this week in Las Vegas.

The annual event for showcasing the latest in consumer technology will feature self-driving shuttle buses, 5G wireless hubs, artificially intelligent ovens and more, but exhibitors will also be displaying their ability to intuit deeper health data directly from users, often with cheap, even wearable, devices….

What do you think?


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With files from M.C.

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