What Health Apps Tell Outsiders About You

Hundreds of health applications these days can track our weight, steps, caloric intake, blood pressure – and even our friends’ workouts at the gym. And those diagnosed with an ailment can go online to get answers to health questions or share their stories with others suffering from the same illness. Sure, this can be useful for consumers seeking to take control of their health. These new outlets, however, raise other questions: Who else is looking at our medical information? And …

Are Those Fun Online Quizzes Invading Your Privacy?

What city should you live in? Which Love Boat character are you? What superpower should you have? Fun quizzes are all the rage online these days. Buzzfeed (which says I should live in Portland, Ore.) is leading the charge, but even the scholarly Pew Research Center (“How Millennial Are You?”) and the New York Times (“How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk”) have a hand in the fad. The exercises are addictive, shareable, entertaining. So what’s not to like? Here’s …

What Personal Information Is Your Mobile Device Sharing?

“Always on and always on you” describes the extent to which consumers have integrated cellphones, smartphones and tablets into their daily lives. How deeply do consumers depend on these mobile devices? One survey found 44 percent of cell owners have slept with their phone next to their bed because they were afraid to miss any calls, text messages or other updates during the night. As mobile device use continues to increase, there is growing concern that consumers are unaware how …

Nanny Cams in Nursing Homes – Protection or Invasion of Privacy?

Imagine that your mother is in a long-term care facility. On your weekend visits, she’s told you that the nurses and aides there are taking things from her, pinching her and refusing to change her diapers when she soils them. You want to believe your mother, but you’ve been told that her nursing home is one of the best in the state. You also know that your mother has mild dementia and that when you gently raise the issue with …

Stay Safe in the Health Insurance Marketplaces

This week, the Obama administration announced a comprehensive, interagency initiative to fight fraud, prevent privacy violations, and protect consumers in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. AARP applauds this effort, and we encourage the administration to continue to take steps to protect and defend consumers from unscrupulous practices – especially people under the age of 65 who will soon be eligible to sign up for the marketplaces. Unfortunately, we know that there are scam artists who will try to take advantage of Americans as …

Could a Smartphone Save Your Life?

By Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio, Kaiser Health News It’s one of those unhappy holiday surprises — a visiting family member gets sick. That happened to Dr. Farzad Mostashari last Thanksgiving. “My dad comes downstairs and he has acute pain in his eye where he had cataract surgery. And I said, ‘What’s the matter, what’s the story?’” recalled Mostashari, who lives in Bethesda, Md. “And he said, ‘Well, I think they put the wrong lens in my eye, I’d gone …