While applauding Facebook for taking steps to stop suicides, Arthur Caplan, professor at NYU Langone Health, New York has cited a paper that says it must make sure better ethics and a rigorous privacy. The professor who has no connection with the paper is apprehensive if Facebook or other stakeholders will keep the information they gather confidential. He emphasized that the social media could mean well but the measures might not necessarily be good.
Stanford University’s professor of Medicine and Biomedical ethics, David Magnus opines that technological entities like Google and Amazon might already have access to health data of people or will soon have. These firms might not be perceived as health care centric but have access to a good amount of health care data. He says that the current regulations in place do not address this aspect of the affair. He points to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects that does not include most tech companies in its purveyance.
Magnus sees machine learning as aiding predictions on health care by using the information gathered. HIPAA has all the information on citizens through something known as a covered entity but Facebook, Amazon or Google are not covered entities. The tech companies get the acquiescence to gather data on the health of their subscribers who just click a button to agree to the companies’ policies. Since the companies are not covered, their algorithms or research are not made available.
Dr Steven Schlozman of The Clay Center for Young Healthy Minds at Massachusetts General Hospital is concerned that the ethical standards of Facebook’s measures do not meet the medical research standards.
Schlozman said that he would be satisfied if the collected data is utilized for a better health care. An open book is what he desires. He warns that Facebook is run with profit as its motto and its secretive operations are suspect. It has to allay the notion that it is overstepping the boundaries of ethics.
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