Sunday, October 07, 2007
Ars are reporting that Microsoft are in the process of establishing a private system of health records that you can easily take between doctors. It's a really good idea. The NHS are currently spending £12Bn to do just this. Somebody should have told them!
There will be some slightly geeky people who will post a link to this repository from their facebook pages. This will be a little odd, but possible.
This product follows a long trend of people giving sites more and more personal information. There are already services within the US that will look after your bank account for you (Wesabe) and we all know how much info people put onto their facebook and myspace pages.
I read an interesting article (though unfortunately I can't remember where!) comparing web application providers with Banks. Basically you're asking them to store your information and the relationship is entirely founded on trust.
We're still not quite at the point where we can define what we expect from a company in terms of trust - we definitely don't want them to make the information publicly available, but people seem comfortable with some information going to advertisers. If you ask people if they want to share their information, they'll say no - but people are easily swayed by the offer of free services.
I think the evolution of the relationship between application providers and the public will end up hinging on the trust issue. We still haven't seen anyone mishandle privacy in any major way. It will be interesting to see what people's reaction to a mishap will be. Would we see something analogous to a bank run?
Let's wait and see what happens if google accidentally publishes the wrong thing.