Quantified Selfing: security and statistics

It was inevitable, but now there’s concern about your QS data’s security and hacking. With healthcare organizations having security breaches rather routinely (wander over to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse), the Federal Government routinely fighting off ‘denial of service’ assaults and Facebook, Apple, Twitter and Dropbox joining the hacked club, how long will it be before a fitness or telehealth company is breached? Or hospitals/providers which use insecure messaging, Skype and data files? Or those 600-odd practice EHRs? From the article, Avi Rubin, the director of the Health and Medical Security Lab at Johns Hopkins University: “Any system that consists in large part of software is hackable. At some point, someone will hack a major repository of healthcare data. And it won’t be pretty.” World’s Health Data Patiently Awaits Inevitable Hack (Wired) Hat tip to David Albert, MD via Twitter

QSers also assume that tracking devices are accurate. What happens when it’s two different devices, different totals? Doesn’t matter much with pedometers, but blood glucose is a different matter. Scientific American takes on ‘informed interpretation’ of data and the sticky issue of whether a monitoring regime does more good than harm. Writer Hilda Bastian: “Human health isn’t about simple mechanics and tinkering with a few measurable levels….There is, though, potential for harm, including unnecessary and pointless anxiety. There’s value, too, in contemplating the meaning of where we’re going with this, and the consequences of adults focusing so much on our selves in this particular way.” “Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make…” How Much Monitoring Is Too Much?  Hat tips to Carolyn Thomas, The Ethical Nag / Heart Sisters and TTA Soapboxer, and George Margelis, via Twitter.

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