Data. It's the buzz word for a generation but something I can honestly say I don't think too heavily about - be that rightly or wrongly.
My parents, potentially due to them being of a different generation hate having to input details online. My Dad was disgusted to hear that Apple had to have his card details saved to access an iTunes account, whereas I had never even thought about it being a problem.
Having said the above, an article published in The Guardian today has made me second guess my blase attitude. Adam Tanner, a fellow at Harvard's institute for quantitative social science and author of a new book, Our Bodies, Our Data explains just what a large scale industry our data has become.
I'm all for medical advancement, and if our data can help towards making a better life for individuals then that is amazing. However, what I don't agree with is not being given the right to grant permission for our data to be researched and for millions of dollars to be exchanged over the privilege.
Although most data is stripped of personal detail the problem, as Tanner explains, is it isn't too difficult to cross reference until identities are uncovered; something I'm sure many aren't so comfortable with.
I'm in agreement with Tanner's conclusion: "If there’s a chance to advance medical science, let them make the case to we the patients. If you want to donate your data to science, that’s great, but you should have the choice."
Would you donate your Medical Data given the chance?
Your medical data is for sale – all of it. Adam Tanner, a fellow at Harvard’s institute for quantitative social science and author of a new book on the topic, Our Bodies, Our Data, said that patients generally don’t know that their most personal information – what diseases they test positive for, what surgeries they have had – is the stuff of multibillion-dollar business.