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Connected devices, side data selling businesses, and privacy

Parmy Olson (Forbes) looks into an alternative route businesses selling connected devices (e.g. Nest, Fitbit, Jawbone) are looking into:

For privacy reasons both self-insured employers and those with group insurance have to bring on a population-management firm such as StayWell or Welltok to manage the data as a neutral third party. Amy McDonough, who oversees Fitbit’s employer program, wouldn’t comment on how Fitbit data would affect pricing negotiations between employers and health care providers, though health insurer Cigna said fitness trackers “may” have an impact on future group insurance pricing . The data are still being tested.

The conclusion is what worries me:

In other words, most people don’t really care about how many steps they’ve taken each day, but they do care about their insurance and energy bills.

How long before we get a series of completely opaque industry metrics like credit scores that will determine your health and life insurance, your aptitude for taking a job, or attending a school? It all starts with a little carrot at the end of a stick. If not accompanied by strict regulations, it will just become another discriminating cash cow for large corporations.

Original title and link: Connected devices, side data selling businesses, and privacy (NoSQL database©myNoSQL)

via: http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/04/17/the-quantified-other-nest-and-fitbit-chase-a-lucrative-side-business/