Facebook has stopped a project to share data with medical agencies in the United States. Instead, the company wants to focus on measures it has taken in response to the privacy scandal surrounding the Cambridge Analytica data company
Facebook was in talks with, among others, the Stanford Medical School and the American College of Cardiology to exchange data. about users with medical professionals. The intention was that the physicians, in addition to patient data, could also use profile data that Facebook had collected. The project had to give scientists more insight into social and economic factors that play a role in certain disorders. As a result, the physicians wanted to reduce the number of heart conditions, for example.
The social network would anonymize the data, but through hashing scientists still wanted to be able to match the profiles with patient data, reports CNBC . Hashing is a cryptographic way to make data unreadable. By comparing the outcome of the encryption, it can be determined whether it concerns people with the same name. Facebook and the Board of Cardiology have confirmed the existence and termination of the project.
The project was still in the planning phase and Facebook had not yet shared any data with the medical institutions. The company has stopped the project because of the privacyscandal concerning Cambridge Analytica. That scandal is precisely about the protection and abuse of personal data of Facebook users.