Google Wants to Track Your Medical History — And Your Genome

In a recent review of 23 internet companies by a consumer watchdog group, Privacy International, Google was the only one to receive the lowest grade, reserved for those with “comprehensive consumer surveillance and entrenched hostility to privacy.”
With that low mark in mind, you might find the idea of Google’s having its virtual hands on your medical history a bit disturbing. The company, and its rival Microsoft, are each taking the first steps toward the burgeoning, and lucrative, industry of electronic health-records management.
Having your medical records in an accessible, searchable and consistent format is certainly appealing. But you, and your doctor, would also become a magnet for advertisers offering services based on your particular medical history.
Eminent technology investor and pundit Esther Dyson isn’t worried about privacy policies, her personal records being hacked, or these companies cooperating with the National Security Agency. In fact, she wants you to turn over not just your medical records, but your personal genetic sequence as well.
In a recent interview on Charlie Rose, Dyson explained that she’s among ten people about to put their health histories and genetic sequences on the internet for public viewing. She optimistically predicts that lots of us will soon entrust such information to online companies, albeit in private accounts.
{Today Americans have no legal rights to control the use and sale of their medical records at all, thanks to HIPAA. Once you give a private corporation the rights to use, own, sell, aggregate, or ‘study’ your genetic data, you can never make those highly sensitive records private again. You will endanger opportunities for jobs, credit, admission to schools, and insurance coverage for everyone who is related to you—especially your children and grandchildren. Your decision will harm your family for generations. It is a grave mistake to participate in any electronic records systems until Congress restores our right to control who can see and use our health information and until you are guaranteed control all disclosures from your electronic records by ironclad legal contracts and “smart” technology that ensures your rights to privacy.}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>