“Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”
As with just about any technological advance I can think of, there are, of course, possible Orwellian implications here. Of course, used in such a way as to provide a personal “nudge“, the technology could be utilized in a very advantageous way. I tend to be an optimist in these areas — vis-a-vis, the possible personal use advantages of technology — though I am a bit of an anarchist when it comes to government intrusion and nefarious uses of personal information. Anyway, this is good fodder for further discussion.
From Mashable.com, this interesting story:
Together with IBM, Google has launched a new Google Health initiative: the service will now be able to pull data directly from various medical devices: heart rate monitors, scales, blood-sugar measurement meters and so on.
That’s right, besides knowing pretty much everything about you, if you let it, Google can now pull personal information directly from your body.
There are very palpable benefits to this; for example, your personal trainer, doctor or nutritionist will now be able to remotely monitor how your body works. Eat too many donuts, and your insulin level will skyrocket; but if you give access to your blood sugar level monitor to your doctor, he’s going to have that “you’re not listening to me” frown next time you visit him.
There are also downsides; I don’t doubt that Google will take special care to protect the users’ privacy, but still: are you sure you want to share your vital signs with…well, anyone online? The service is, of course, voluntary, but concerns are raised about the fact that this data can be used for health marketing; if Google knows you have a high blood pressure, it also knows which health-related ads to serve you.
Google’s view on the matter is clear, though. As Roni Zeiger, Google’s product manager for Google Health, puts it: “The patient has complete control. They decide what they put in. If they import other data, they–and only they–decide whether they will share the data with anyone. Adding devices doesn’t change the story at all.”
What do you think about this? Good, bad, or sinfully ugly?