Major Tech Companies Want Access to Your Health Data
If you think that tech giants such as Google and Apple already know too much about you, fasten your seatbelts, “Alexa” and “Siri,” want to know more – much more!
Google and Apple are coming for your medical records!
Google recently announced that it is working with the country’s second-largest healthcare system, Ascension, to store medical records for millions of patients — including information like lab results, diagnoses and that time you had that case of really bad hemorrhoids.
Called “Project Nightingale,” (maybe that should be “Nightmare?”) the initiative will be used to “create software that helps medical providers to analyze, treat and even predict their patients’ conditions.” Which is all well and good, but some critics are worried about patient privacy. Speaking of sensitive personal information floating around in the cloud, Google is also joining forces with Citigroup to offer to check accounts as soon as next year. Just think: Soon your email, calendar, cholesterol levels and money all could be in one place, just ready for the government to misuse, or anyone to hack.
Apple wants in too. Apple is also harvesting Americans’ health data, but in a very different way. The company is teaming up with Harvard to conduct a huge study of women’s health using information gathered from iPhones and wearables like the Apple Watch.
The program’s latest goal is to recruit over a million women to download an app that allows researchers to monitor their menstrual cycles, fertility, heart rate, and other health patterns for over a decade. Participants can choose which types of data they share and opt-out whenever they want, but this sounds like something straight out or the sci-fi drama “The Handmaids Tale!”
Predictably, there are concerns about personal information falling into the wrong hands, despite Apple’s assurances that the technology was designed to meet federal standards for safeguarding health records.