The salient line in the AP’s coverage of Google’s pilot program to store patients’ medical information is this: “If the medical records aren’t protected … the information conceivably also could be used for marketing purposes.” Let’s say, just for argument’s sake, that your hair was thinning, and you consulted a clinic whose records were managed by Google. How long would it take before you started getting an e-mail, banner, pop-up and robo-telemarketing barrage touting Minoxidil treatments? As if Google couldn’t already laser-target ad messages based on my — I mean, somebody’s — frantic midnight searches to recapture the carefree, hirsute days of one’s youth. What if wires get crossed and someone were to Google my — I mean, somebody’s — name, and a balding-spot photo from the clinic were to pop up? No wonder I don’t sleep at night. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has such luxurious hair, but he’s always photographed from the front. Makes you wonder.
—Posted by David Gianatasio