Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Data miners can tell what's wrong with you

I am not sure even I am paranoid enough to keep you ahead of this spying stuff. But I do try.

Joseph Walker, WSJ, Dec 17, says medical researchers do not need your medical records (still somewhat sheltered for now, except from the govt) to find candidates for medical studies. They can use credit card records, cable TV subs, social networks, pharmacy data, and other available info to pinpoint if you have a disease or condition.

Isn't that peachy?

They use hundreds of "data points," new speak for scraps of info.

Take an obesity drug they want to study. How to find fat people. Hmmm, well, they are sedentary, it's assumed. They look for people with cable, then fast food on their cards.

Or arthritis--preference for jazz, owning a cat, participating in sweepstakes--you probably are arthritic.

One expert in the story said patients would be shocked at how little privacy they have--and how accurate these systems are.

One woman researched diabetes a lot but did not have it--she was called for a diabetes project. So maybe it has flaws--this system--but I bet not too many.

These are nosy nells.

Why do I get those come-ons in the mail for burials at sea? Those creep me out. I guess because I am death age. And maybe because I own a calendar with pix of beaches?

No comments: