In recent news Google is collecting the health data of millions of Americans by putting together a deal with U.S. healthcare provider Ascension, that affords access to some 50 million patient healthcare records—without patients’ or doctors’ authorization. The partnership is raising ethical concerns of what exactly Google will be doing with the vast amount of specs, and how it will effect patients upon Ascension’s relinquishing of the data.
Case and point, currently Google is being sued over how it handled health data for a research project with the University of Chicago. Both Google and university hospital were accused of leaving identifiable info in the data, Google denies the accusations, but seems to have entered a sort of space-race among tech companies to – get into health care.
Facebook now offers users “preventive health” options inside the Facebook app, this new tool suggest: tests and immunizations—such as a mammogram, cholesterol test, or flu shot—based on a end-users age and sex.
Amazon has teamed up with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway in establishing Haven in the attempts of improving healthcare for their employees – “to be a partner to individuals and families and help them get the care they need, while also working with clinicians and others to make the overall system better for all”. Apple is teaming up with Harvard to a massive study of women’s health using information gathered from iPhones and wearables like the Apple watch, involving millions of women in a span of a decade.
These companies have gained incredible mistrust with data, just this month Facebook has confirmed a system bug that activates iPhone camera in preview mode as users scroll through feed…at the same time Facebook denies theories of phones “listening-in” with mobile devices. Some might say, “makes no difference… people still use FB or Google”, I hypothesize a scenario where Google knows your health history and targets you in the most invasive way.
A little through experiment if you will; think if Google has access to your respiratory or pulmonary history. Therefore after going cold-turkey for three weeks you inevitably fall of the wagon and purchase a box of cigarettes – suddenly you are being digital targeted with ads of producst like Chantix, still not converting… well what if Google starts to bombard you with a marketing burst of e-cigarettes (which are still not banned). Google knows this via google maps and gmail accounts, if not other ways. Sounds absurd? I know it doesn’t, but disheartening since Google tools like: Google Analytics, Google Ads and Google Data Studio are essential to marketing pursuits for any business.
Google actually has gotten in a tangle with European lawmakers for “failing to disclose” how it collects data, fined $170,000 Million for aggregating information on children in the U.K and in-turn advertising to them. “The company has exposed the data of some 52 million users thanks to a bug in its Google+ API, a platform that has been shutdown.”
An NPR Morning Edition shows for government vocalization on Googles and other tech companies recent health endeavors:
“the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it wants more information about how the companies are collecting these medical records to make sure they are following the law. And Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said that Google and Ascension should stop this project while it’s being reviewed.”
I would stress, be prepared for Google Home Assistant or Alexa persuading you to buy another pair of running shoes, tooth-past or maybe some Nicorette.
Facebook Bug Turns on Iphone Camera When Users Scroll Through Their Feed
Kari Paul – https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/nov/12/facebook-bug-iphone-camera-access
Google Health Data Project Under Scrutiny
Shannon Bond – https://www.npr.org/2019/11/14/779208282/google-health-data-project-under-scrutiny
Google Now Tracks Your Credit Card Purchases and Connects Them To Its Online Profile Of You
Michael Reilly – https://www.technologyreview.com/s/607938/google-now-tracks-your-credit-card-purchases-and-connects-them-to-its-online-profile-of-you/
Google’s Data Misdeeds Are Haunting Its Healthcare Plans
Ruth Reader – https://www.fastcompany.com/90430231/googles-data-misdeeds-are-haunting-its-health-care-plans
The Week in Business: Google Is Coming For Your Health Records
Charlotte Cowles – https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/17/business/this-week-in-business-google-health-records.html
Daniel Rowles – Kogan Page – 2017