a danger for personal data?

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smart health connected health devices are becoming more and more popular. Heart rate, weight, blood pressure, quality of sleep, everything is recorded and represents a treasure trove of data. A treasure that can turn out to be juicy for many actors and dangerous for your privacy.

The use of data is very common today, but what changes is in the sectors in which this data is smart health connected. Health is no exception to the rule and a plethora of smart health connected objects has appeared. In addition to some 100,000 dedicated mobile applications, there are watches, bracelets and even mattresses and thermometers smart health connected. Capable of recording information on your health and quality of life, these devices appeal to doctors, since they can make their work easier, but also to private actors, especially insurance.

danger privacy connected health

Protect your data

In a survey conducted by the 1001Pharmacies.com site, 99% of respondents said they were interested in smart health connected objects and among them, 65% would use them to prevent certain diseases, 50% to allow the diagnosis or prognosis of certain pathologies, 50% also to monitoring the quality of their sleep, and 35% to monitoring certain biological parameters such as weight, blood pressure or heart rate. Figures that demonstrate the enthusiasm of the French for these new everyday objects, especially in terms of health.

However, another figure contrasts this attraction. 70% of those questioned are worried about the security of their health data. And for good reason, when we see that Google is able to accurately restore the places where you spent your last vacation, what you are looking for the most on the net or even the number of all your saved contacts we say that the health-related data can be resold, or be discriminatory if easily identifiable.

The health bill currently debated in the National Assembly does not help, he who provides the creation of a national public health data base with easier access. The opponents denounce, among other things, a possible breach of medical confidentiality and the risk of crossing with other personal data.

connected health: privacy risk

And what about the law ?

The observation is relatively simple to make: the legislation is not yet ready. To date, there is no law governing mobile health. This therefore depends on general French and European rules on the protection of personal data. So no, the whole Earth does not have access to the number of steps you take each day or how many grams of butter you put in your pasta, however be careful when you allow the sharing of your data.

To say that the legislation is not ready does not mean that nothing is done or will be done. Already in January 2015, the National Council of the College of Physicians pointed out the dangers of these tools in a white paper. He denounces the fallibility of the sensors, the risks of diagnostic errors and the security vulnerabilities that threaten the protection of this more than sensitive data.

It would still be time for the authorities to start seriously studying the subject, especially when we know that in 2019, there could be 16.7 million smart health connected objects in France alone.

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