Trust Trumps Privacy In Battle For Patient Health Data

Dan Munro writes:

There’s no shortage of advocates on behalf of the “free your health data” movement. The keywords, of course, are “ your,” “health data” and “free” (as in donating your health data for the global benefit of clinical research).

The latest demand was an article that appeared last week in Wired ? You Should Share Your Health Data: Its Value Outweighs The Privacy Risk by Beth Seidenberg, MD (a partner at the venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers).

Dr. Seidenberg’s medical credentials are definitely compelling (including Chief Medical Officer of Amgen AMGN +0.02%), but it’s always a red flag to me when a total stranger (especially one with medical credentials) boldly demands that I “should” do anything online ? with my health ? which includes my health data.

While Dr. Seidenberg’s demand is noble in the conclusion that we can all benefit from the clinical research, her argument is based squarely on the false premise that privacy is the largest gating factor in the reluctance of consumers (or patients) to share their health data.

I’m sure that privacy is a reason for many, but it’s certainly not for me.

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