Among the other big social platforms, Facebook has now allowed revealing a user’s personal healthcare information i.e. last blood test, Pap smear test, etc. Back in October, the tech giant has announced that in the U.S. the users could opt-in to personalized preventive healthcare recommendations and reminders for a checkup that is based on their sex and age.
Many critics have expressed their concerns about entering Facebook in the healthcare space. It gives a poor track record to the tech giant by protecting the privacy of the users. The tool of Preventive Health appears in the user’s feed that depends on the demographics. It will suggest the users a list of laundry for a routine health exam which includes flu shots, mammograms, and BP screenings. When the procedure has completed, users can mark it and select an option for receiving the reminders for the follow-up.
30-year-old women shared her experience that Facebook suggests a list of following tests i.e. HPV test and Pap test. Furthermore, it suggested me to go for cholesterol screening, flu shots, and blood pressure test. It only suggests the last three tests for my male counterparts.
It is important to note that women are asked about their extra privacy gambles. If they trust the tech companies than they can share the details regarding their reproductive and sexual health. Apple company launched an app today, HealthKit. It enables women to test the quality of cervical mucus. A litany period tracking app is developed for the women for tracking the sexual activity, mood swings and frequency of other related things. but a poor privacy issue has displayed by some of these apps.
In February, the Wall Street Journal discovered that a period tracking app, “Flo”, was tracking and sending the data to Facebook which includes the probability of ovulation about the user. Three popular period tracking apps was founded by the UK- based privacy International during this fall season which was involved in disclosing the information to Facebook such as contraception details and symptoms of PMS. Many apps like fertility apps Flo, Ovia, and Glow are earning money off from the targeted ads that are based on the health data related to the female users who provide the data.
The company has cleared the issue by saying to Facebook’s credit that It will not share the data about its users to any other party. The company Preventive Health has no concern about asking the details of the Pap test or related procedures. It only concerned about data of the test when it was done. The users can only share the tool not the data with their friends.
The Facebook data is not safe for sure as a small number company’s developer will see the data. According to a survey conducted by Rock Health and Stanford University, only 10% of people feel comfortable about sharing their information with the Big tech. out of that group, 36% said that its comfortable to share information on Facebook.
A publication from the medical journal Health Affairs revealed that federal healthcare data privacy law (HIPAA) entities are not involved in covering the social media companies. Also, the apps tracking the menstrual cycle, fitness, fertility, nutrition, and mental health are not regulated by HIPAA. It complains to the doctors and hospitals to follow the protocols for protecting the patient’s data about healthcare. if they don’t do this then face penalties. Big tech is not developed on the HIPAA standards.
From the apple watch performing the ECG readings to the medication refill reminders on the Alexa, many users sharing their information with the Big tech. No app can beat Facebook as it has 2.5 billion strong databases. The tool preventive health care is now only available in the United States, but Facebook will try to launch it globally soon.