Privacy and Your Health

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Deborah Estrin is a professor of computer science at Cornell NYC Tech, an open source advocate and the co-founder of the non-profit Open mHealth. She talks about how the data you generate about yourself -- through smartphones, your habits, and even sensors -- can be used to find clues about your health, and what the technology says about our privacy.

How uncomfortable are you with a company searching your online behavior for clues about your personal health? Your small data won’t be shared with others, but would be used to provide health recommendations.

-- One of the questions in our Privacy Conundrums Quiz


Deborah Estrin

Comments [13]

Francisco from LA

The state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people including your parents is very very important to teens and must be carefully handled by parents in order to build a trusting relationship. Respect is key and it is an ongoing conversation not just a setting on a device. Talk to your teen and ask them about their cyber events - there's a ton going on out there - and they may just be sitting on the couch next to you.

Mar. 04 2014 11:34 AM
Nick from UWS

No matter how much data they sell about you for marketing purposes, you yourself have the final decision on what to spend your money on or whether to spend it at all. They can flood my spam box or pop up ads in my face until they turn blue...I can ignore it if I want and not give them a dime.

Mar. 04 2014 11:05 AM
BK from Hoboken

Have the guests heard of/ read the book The Cure in the Code by Peter Huber? I am about halfway through and his ideas about sharing (presumably de-identified) health data in clinical trials and other pharmaceutical treatment can advance medicine by figuring out what medicines work with what genetic types of people.

Mar. 04 2014 10:59 AM
Paul from Glen Cove

The cat is out of the bag (personal data), and all commerce is just a hungry wolf grabbing as much as they can to make as much as they can. It'll be the heist of the century. Some organizations are/will be righteous about it, but they will be the minority.

Mar. 04 2014 10:55 AM

With regard to these health tracking devices (Fuelband, Jawbone, Fitbit, and increasingly smartphones, etc.), I think that their data collection should be should be transparent -- that is, the consumer should be able to see exactly what they've collected and who that data has been shared with.

Additionally, if these companies are making money off of selling the consumer's data, then the consumer should get a kickback for that. Some might say that data collection is the price we pay for the privilege of using the device, but I don't think that argument holds water when the consumer has already paid to purchase the device in the first place.

Mar. 04 2014 10:50 AM

Nick from UWS, again…BRAVO!

Mar. 04 2014 10:46 AM

Gee, isn't this fun…entertaining…convenient…safer… just sign it all away right here…

Ching, CHING$$$$

Screw the DataVultures!!

Mar. 04 2014 10:45 AM
Van Krishnamoorthy from Manhattan

I am a physician and am excited that you are hosting a tele health expert! Medicine has been too outdated for too long and concerns for primary, I believe, are preventing us from helping patients. Understanding behavioral changes is vital for preventing hospital admissions and all the complications and costs that occur with an inpatient stay. We tech savvy folks are innovating to expand telemedicine; the cat is out of the bag and the nay sayers need to jump on board so we can incorporate their perspectives.

Mar. 04 2014 10:42 AM

Ed The Happy Idiot from Larchmont.

Mar. 04 2014 10:39 AM
Nick from UWS

What is this all this bullshit about "personal cloud" storage of data and all the rest of the crap? How about your data being just printed on a piece of paper and locked in your own filing cabinet at home? What the hell is wrong with that?

Mar. 04 2014 10:39 AM
The Truth from Becky

Again, NO!!

Mar. 04 2014 10:35 AM

To: Ed from Larchmont

The current HIPAA law doesn't protect your privacy & your health records. It protects your insurance company(ies), your pharmacist & the Big Pharma companies access to your records so that they may market to you & your medical practitioners.

If our HIPAA law was closer to the EU standard you would have both more security & privacy.

Mar. 04 2014 10:05 AM
Ed from Larchmont

It would be funny if it weren't so serious: a few years ago they passed the law protecting the privacy of one's health information, almost to extremes. Now we have to put our health details on the website to get O-care and it's not protected at all. Wow.

Mar. 04 2014 09:15 AM

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