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Monday, May 19, 2008

Google Health and You

Far too much going on to pick out one development to blog about today, but particularly noteworthy is the launch of Google Health.

Notwithstanding the fact that my Canadian location makes it about as likely that I'll be able to use Google Health as being able to sign up for Google Checkout... if it were available up here, I wouldn't be using it anytime soon.

I feel strangely unreassured by the mention of privacy policies all in the same (breathless type) breath as "thousands of partnerships" and "moving petabytes of data around":

In addition to helping you get better control of your medical information, we've also put strong privacy policies in place to keep your information safe and private. There's a lot left to do in health -- literally thousands of partnerships to forge and petabytes of data to move around -- but we're looking forward to hearing feedback from early Google Health adopters about our first step.
For some reason the whole business leaves me feeling uneasy about my privacy. The centralizing impulse of these global info-organizers runs counter, perhaps, to more sensible old-school approaches to information and power: diffused and broken-up relationships of power & authority, while less efficient at times, safeguard us against an unhealthy concentration of power and panopticon-like effects.

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