Smartphone health data, privacy concerns rear head at MWC

As Editor Charles is chronicling at the world’s largest mobile event, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona has a great deal of focus on healthcare–and that includes healthcare data security. Both telehealth monitoring and telemedicine virtual consults are increasingly phone-based. That data transmitting via and in virtual storage a/k/a The Cloud, including personal health records (PHRs), is overly assumed to be secure, but security protocols vary. “We are at the mercy of who the app providers are and how well they secure the information, and they are at the mercy sometimes of the cloud providers.” according to Kevin Curran of the IEEE. This article also points out that there’s real consumer concern that insurance companies will access their personal identified data via various databases, and make them pay more for coverage (or dictate lifestyle changes–Ed. Donna). This is not far-fetched: grocery chains routinely use identified data from their customer loyalty programs for programs not only to customers but also to leverage suppliers and influence behavior (Guardian); this AFP article indicates that health insurance companies have also purchased this data. Agence France-Presse report via Yahoo!News

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