Sunday, December 02, 2007

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Social Networking with Health Information

There’s a lot of hype (and startups) to go along with trying to get you to buy into their “social networking” websites for health issues. Usually these companies have been backed by venture capitalists who expect both a relatively quick and large return on their money.

When a company is beholden not to its founders’ vision or its own mission (no matter how grand that mission or vision might be), but to financial backers who have little interest in the actual goals of the company other than to see it go public or purchased by the highest bidder as quickly as possible, guess who suffers the most? You’re right if you picked you, the user.

Since a company is an entity, not a person, it doesn’t have to be personal in these decisions. It makes them as a disconnected “other,” simply something that is trying to convince you that it is “helping” you by offering your data to others, even when it does so at times without your knowledge or permission.

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