Facebook Health? Thumbs Down - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Comments
Facebook Health? Thumbs Down
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 5:10:35 PM
Re: Perfect
Exactly. I just read a story about a financial trading firm that uses anonymous data from some of these health communities to help it research pharmaceutical stocks. When many members start raving about how a medication is working well for their condition, especially if it's off-label usage, the firm may recommend buying the stock. It's not illegal and it's not using patients' names, but it's icky to me as a person. It's an incredible use of analytics, though.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 5:07:54 PM
Re: Perfect
Even in the Reuters story, Facebook cited how it used its own search tool, which determined many people used Facebook to look up diabetes. This is hardly an unusual use of an internal search tool. Facebook is not alone in this and I'm not bashing them. It's just a cautionary note and a reminder about why I personally would not use Facebook's health communities, given the site's very sophisticated search capabilities that go far beyond what was used here. 
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 5:00:21 PM
Re: Perfect
A lot of people distrust Facebook. From Kristen's story about Facebook looking into mobile payments:

"According to the2013 Consumer Insights Report by the market research company Ovum, only 1% of respondents said they trust social networks to deliver mobile payments. "

I expect a similar percentage of people trust social networks to keep health data private.
Alison_Diana
50%
50%
Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 4:49:23 PM
Re: Perfect
Maybe for something like kidney stones (so sorry and hope you're feeling better), but if someone has a major condition and seeks ongoing support, I personally wouldn't want to go to Facebook given the company's questionable privacy record. As I said in the article, I've posted the "I've got a headache that won't quit" comment, but I'm concerned that saying too much about my health on Facebook will get me noticed, not by my friends, but by advertisers. And while getting a few messages from Excedrin Migraine isn't a big deal, I don't necessarily want any and all my various ailments available to everyone from giant drugstore chains to giant retailers. That said, I think online support groups are great -- as long as the ToS are very clear and written in non-legalese so members know exactly how their data is being used, who is seeing/storing/analyzing the info they share, and are notified when it changes in an opt-in manner. 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
10/6/2014 | 1:49:44 PM
Re: Perfect
@Lorna- I think the anonymous forum is anathema to Facebook. And from a business point of view, it opens a can of worms because people will ask for anonymous play of games and other areas of Facebook. 

Also, I doubt people who distrust Facebook would trust them to keep them anonymous.

That said, you are right that the traditional medical forum would permit that. People are used to it. And it would certainly work for many. 
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 1:41:24 PM
Re: Perfect
Or, maybe Facebook could allow people to be anonymous in these forums. That could alleviate many concerns.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
10/6/2014 | 1:35:20 PM
Re: Perfect
@anon- I love the idea of Facebook being used to combine people with certain illnesses with experimental drugs and research. The advertising, not so much. But wouldn't it be great to hook up people with rare and possibly fatal diseases with the cure they need? We need someone with huge reach (Google, Facebook, whoever) to be involved in creating a robust national database for this. If Facebook couched it this way and partnered with people who understand HIPAA and take it seriously, maybe that's the way to make this work. 
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
10/6/2014 | 1:32:33 PM
Re: Perfect
@Lorna- Thanks. Last week was rough. I've got the right combo of medicine now that let's me stay awake but pain-free. :)
Lorna Garey
50%
50%
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
10/6/2014 | 1:25:25 PM
Re: Perfect
Oh, and sorry about the kidney stones. That does NOT sound like fun.
David Wagner
50%
50%
David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
10/6/2014 | 12:57:21 PM
Re: Perfect
@Lorna- Well, that's fine. But that seems to leave like 90% of illnesses on the table. Seems like there's plenty for both Facebook and its customers. Plus, some percentage of people with more "private" illnesses won't necessarily be afraid to share depending on their life situations. 

There are obviously tons of forums out there for illnesses, but few are as large or have the ability to bring people together as Facebook. I think this will be great.

Though I agree with you, if i had a mental illness (which carries more stigma in the US than it should) I would certainly keep it off Facebook. There are limits.
<<   <   Page 2 / 3   >   >>


The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Slideshows
11 Things IT Professionals Wish They Knew Earlier in Their Careers
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  4/6/2021
News
Time to Shift Your Job Search Out of Neutral
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/31/2021
Commentary
Does Identity Hinder Hybrid-Cloud and Multi-Cloud Adoption?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  4/1/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Successful Strategies for Digital Transformation
Download this report to learn about the latest technologies and best practices or ensuring a successful transition from outdated business transformation tactics.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll