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    US Cardiologist Speaks Out About Facebook Plan to Harvest Patients' Medical Data

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    Facebook users worldwide have been waking up to the disturbing fact that social media’s misuse of personal information may be even worse than first thought.

    The social media giant has put on hold a plan to combine patients’ medical data with personal information from their social networking activity after admitting that as many as 87 million people's data might have been “scraped" by automated software to gather information.

    In a written comment for Sputnik, President of the American College of Cardiology (ACC) C. Michael Valentine said that discussions between ACC and Facebook were in the early phases and were halted before the project moved beyond the concept phase.

    “Protection of patient privacy has always been the ACC’s foremost priority when considering any research, including our discussions of potential scientific collaboration with Facebook. We approached these discussions as we would any other scientific, medical, or clinical research — with the understanding that to move forward research protocols would need to be in place to ensure consistent compliance with ACC policies […] and practices consistent with well-established norms in the scientific and medical community for safely conducting research,” Dr. Valentine wrote.

    READ MORE: Spain Launches Investigation Into Facebook Personal Data Breach

    Facebook had asked several leading US hospitals, including Stanford Medical School and the American College of Cardiology, to share anonymized data about their patients, such as illnesses and prescription info, for a proposed research project, CNBC reported.

    This information was to be matched with the patient’s Facebook records to see if there is any information in there that could help treatment. For example, if an elderly patient doesn’t have many friends, he or she may require more at-home care following surgery.

    The latest revelations come after the Cambridge Analytica data leak scandal raised public concerns over the way social media collects and uses personal information about their users.

    Eighty-seven million Facebook users have had their data shared with Cambridge Analytica, too, in a scandal that has cost the social media titan $100 billion in market value forced Company CEO Mark Zuckerberg to face a congressional hearing scheduled for next week.

    The views and opinions expressed in theis article are solely those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect Sputnik's position.

    Related:

    Spain Launches Investigation Into Facebook Personal Data Breach
    German Antitrust Regulator Mounts Pressure on Facebook
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    patients' personal data, hospitals, plan, Facebook, C. Michael Valentine, Mark Zuckerberg, United States
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