Smoking and depression apps are selling your data to third parties according to The Washington Post and a study published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open “The pitch: Health apps for users who are battling depression or want to quit smoking.
The problem: Many of the apps designed to track a user’s progress are sharing the personal details they collect with third parties, like Google and Facebook, without consent.” For e.g. Ovia give employers and health insurers a lens into users’ personal information about pregnancy and childbirth for the pretext of corporate wellness.
Why is this important and how does the digital health data affects us if in the wrong hands?
Health data is important for insurance companies when covering or paying-up claims. Insurance companies spend a lot of money on private detectives and digital information about their ‘contracts’ to lower the costs of business by refusing the claims. having access to your medical data can make them efficiently argue for a higher insurance fee or payment refusal for the existing medical condition.
This information, especially the mental health data, can be very well used by potential employers when ‘assessing’ potential candidates or by banks or investment funds when analysing a business and its entrepreneur.
Sleep disorder apps or health data apps may look innocent but in the wrong hands will black list you and consequently affect your professional life and business irremediable.
This data may very well be used to manipulate your behaviour! well, that’s a stretch, you would say, but some experts disagree.
Google buys Fitbit for $ 2.1 billion Alphabet Inc was the recent news. The parent company that owns Google’s online search engine, will buy Fitbit Inc’s portable device maker for $ 2.1 billion, entering the growing market of fitness devices and smart watches.
“Once again, Google shows an insatiable appetite for information collected from users. Waze for example was an important milestone, now you have entered the market of users’ medical information. Surely a lot of interesting information and statistics can be gleaned from, for the obvious purpose of delivering targeted ads effectively by the google AI. This way the AI can now make better predictions / behavioural forecasts of its users with information from GPS, heart rate, lifestyle, etc.” I. Andrei, entrepreneur and tech expert.