FDA: Who owns health data? Durable, intractable problem

By Brian Dolan
09:52 am
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FDAAt the Body Computing Conference last week in Los Angeles, the Food and Drug Association's Brian Fitzgerald weighed in on a big question: Who owns your health data? According to a report in Fast Company, the typical answer most consumers would provide is "my body, my data." Fitzgerald, however, had an insightful and perhaps troubling reply. It made for a true regulatory monkey wrench:

"These are very durable, intractable problems," Fitzgerald reportedly said at the conference. "If I share data with you because we're playing a game, years later that data could be used against me. Where does my privacy end? Do I have the right to share a personal genetic profile? That profile doesn't just affect me. It affects future generations -- they didn't give me the right to share that profile with you. It's necessary to rethink the very fundamental models of what we do and try to calibrate for the 21st century technologies."

Seems like the FDA has had a busy year -- in February we reported that the FDA was just beginning its conversation with the wireless health industry. While that conversation may have only led to more questions so far, they are compelling ones.

For more on Fitzgerald's comments, read the Fast Company report here.