RealAge sets a new low for unscrupulous behavioral targeting to sell drugs.
Is the RealAge quiz an unfair and deceptive trade practice? Where is informed consent?
Do the 27 million who took the test to find out if they are younger or older than their “biological age” really know that they are giving detailed information so RealAge can market drugs to them?
RealAge illustrates a critical problem with almost all health-related websites: people are actually going there for help – they appear to offer services, so people expect that health websites follow medical ethics and protect their privacy. But they don’t. Health websites are not altruistic and don’t adhere to medical ethics or privacy rights. Health-related websites offering rating scales, searchers, or information about diseases and treatments are typically just as deceptive: they also are designed primarily to collect personal information for personally-targeted marketing or worse.
View the New York Times article Online Age Quiz Is a Window for Drug Makers.