This afternoon I was reading an article about yet another expasion of the google universe: Google Health. According to the terms of service, google states that they are not under obligation to follow HIPPA regulations like other healthcare facilities since they are not considered a ‘covered entity.’ In plain English this means that whatever you share can be accessed by third parties because it’s up to you what info you put up. Currently, the service does not have advertising, but I see this as shaky at best as more and more people use the app. and companies want to target specific groups of illnesses. This bit from the terms of service is of particular note:
Google may make third-party services available through Google Health. In order to use a specific service, you may choose to allow the third-party service provider to retrieve, provide, and/or modify health and other information in your account or otherwise share your information with the service provider. Once you enable a specific third-party service provider to access your account, the service provider may continue to access your account until you affirmatively disable access. Third-party service providers include both health care providers and other entities. It is your sole responsibility to review and approve each such third-party service before sharing your information through or otherwise accessing it.
I’m going to sign up and see what it’s like, but I do caution everyone that if they do choose to use this service to be careful what you share.