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Click here to Accept — but what are we Unknowingly Giving Away?

Posted on October 8, 2019 by Mario Voltolina

Do you regularly fill out quizzes or subscribe to apps that track and collect details about your health or wellness habits? If so, you’ve likely clicked “agree” without actually reading what you are agreeing to — and you are not alone.

How many people understood the terms and conditions before signing up for these apps? Hardly anyone, as research indicates more than 90 per cent of people accept legal terms and conditions without ever actually reading them.[1]

While the benefits of technological innovation may be easy to see — many times in the form of instant gratification — what is more important to consider are the long-term risks. What exactly are we sharing and who exactly are we sharing it with?

As more aspects of our health become digital it is important to remain vigilant. The health care system is in the midst of its digital revolution, with more physicians, health care providers and organizations implementing digital tools and services. In addition to legal responsibilities to look after your data, health agencies have specific security requirements when it comes to information collection, digital or otherwise.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journal tested 24 top-rated and publicly available medication apps — all interactive applications that provided information about medication dispensing, administration or use. Research found that 19 out of 24 apps shared personal data collected with third parties.[2]

However, there are digital health tools and services that are doing things right. For example, PrescribeIT® is a national electronic prescribing service used by more than 1,000 physicians throughout the country. It is transitioning prescriptions from being heavily reliant on paper and faxes to becoming fully electronic with secure end-to-end encryption for all shared personal health information. Most importantly, it employs secure end-to-end encryption for all shared personal health information, ensuring that critical user data remains confidential and is only used for its explicitly intended purpose.

Before signing up for the next popular app, it’s important that we read the small print because when it comes to our health and privacy, we may not be ready to “accept” the risk. This sensitive information must remain safe and protected with trusted applications like PrescribeIT® and trusted parties such as doctors, pharmacists, and care providers.


[1] https://www.businessinsider.com/deloitte-study-91-percent-agree-terms-of-service-without-reading-2017-11
[2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-apps-privacy/your-health-app-could-be-sharing-your-medical-data-idUSKCN1R326W

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Mario VoltolinaMario Voltolina
As Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President, Product Engineering and Operations at Infoway, Mario Voltolina is responsible for the Product Engineering and Operations group. The group manages the design, development and operation of Infoway’s products and services. Responsibilities include quality, performance, reliability, availability, lifecycle management and support functions. Mario has more than 30 years of experience in the information technology industry, mainly in health care and financial services, with some interesting detours into manufacturing and geographic information systems.

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