Who Owns Your Health?

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyCommunication

Folks used to sell their souls; but since god died all we've got left to offer the market, today, is our health; or, more precisely-'cause philosophers are really accountants at heart-our health data. Faust would have been unimpressed, but Big Tech loves it. And the best part is: they don't even need to pay us. Wait, though: is it even selling, if nobody's buying? They are buying all-right, because afterwards they are the righteous owners of our healthcare data-and therefore can be plausibly argued to control our health; what they are not doing is paying, not financially anyway. Isn't it stealing, then? You would think so, but there are a couple of additional complications to consider: first, we do get something in exchange for our data, it's just that it isn't money; which-if it travels at all-is actually floating upstream, from us to big corporations (iphones are the cigarettes of the 21 st century, in more ways than one). Secondly, the potential healthcare benefits of massive data churning and surveillance ought not to be underestimated: more precise explanations leading to more accurate predictions, for example; which in turn ought to lead to more effective treatment. At this point of the argument, there is a junction: on the right, there is the question of whether this promise hasn't in fact been blown out of proportion. IBM's Watson for Oncology, one of the fancy bits of code our own Centre has studied, turns out to be quite disappointing performance-wise, for example. Here the question turns out to be a traditional one, namely whether the trade-off is actually worth it, given both the relevant evidence (or lack thereof) and steep price (control loss).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMilano
PublisherFondazione Prada
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 258762908