«  Question about Google Scholar Main Google named "Top Brand" in UK  »

Eric Jennings writes:

... I don't know about you, but I'm a little leery about Google knowing what allergies I have or what medications I may take. They already know what searches I run, sift through my email for keywords and know what RSS feeds I have, why do I want to give them that much personal information? I'd much rather the records be kept at the clinic for doctors and nurses to look at and not have Google, Microsoft, or any other company snooping through them. (Microsoft's product is called HealthVault.)

I realize that this is only a pilot project, but I'm sure it's not going to go away. Because of that, I think that there will be a significant backlash to this. I realize that a lot of people already give away a lot of information just by their online activity and the cookies (not the edible ones) associated with surfing the net, but this just seems a little extreme. I wonder how they're going to get enough people to accept Google's intrusion into their medical records? Google is not your insurance company but it kind of reminds me of why people don't want insurance companies to have access to their medical records. In that case, the insurer could raise rates based on someone's susceptibility to various diseases. In Google's case, they could send you targeted ads based on whether or not you have diabetes (do you want Wilfred Brimley's ads on your computer screen all the time?) or some other ailment.

Here's another thing to consider. According to Pam Dixon, executive director of the World Privacy Forum, third party products like this are not required to follow Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA). HIPPA "classif[ies] medical information as a privileged communication between a doctor and patient" and "requires a doctor to notify a patient when subpoenaed for a medical record." Since this Google project wouldn't be part of that, the government or some other entity could have easier access to your medical records. ...


Post a comment

We had to crank up the spam filter so it may take a little while to appear. Thanks.

A book in progress by

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Siva Vaidhyanathan

This blog, the result of a collaboration between myself and the Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. The book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google's ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states? [more]

» Send links, questions and ideas:
siva [at] googlizationofeverything [dot] com

» To reach me for a press query, please write to SIVAMEDIA ut POBOX dut COM

» To reach me for a speaking invitation, please write to SIVASPEAK ut POBOX dut COM

» Visit my main blog: SIVACRACY.NET

» More about me


Like the Mind of God (22 posts)

All the World's Information (26 posts)

What If Big Ads Don't Work (10 posts)

Don't Be Evil (9 posts)

Is Google a Library? (43 posts)

Challenging Big Media (18 posts)

The Dossier (19 posts)

Global Google (3 posts)

Google Earth (3 posts)

A Public Utility? (19 posts)

About this Book (16 posts)

Other books by Siva:


Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)

The Anarchist in the Library (Basic Books, 2004)

Copyrights and copywrongs cover

Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001)


  • Sivacracy.net
  • if:book
RSS Feed icon  RSS Feed

Powered by Movable Type 3.35