Niam Yaraghi on ‘walking the walk’ in securing personal dataApr 4, 2022
When it comes to fighting for privacy rights, most people are willing to talk the talk -- but are they willing to walk the walk?
"If you ask people if they support a privacy-related issue, the polls will often come back with a 90% positive response," said Niam Yaraghi, Assistant Professor of Business Technology at Miami Herbert Business School at the University of Miami. He was speaking to Orchid's Derek Silva on this week's episode of the Priv8 Podcast.
But despite the fact that people say they want meaningful change, if you ask if they're willing to do the things necessary to accomplish it, 90% will answer 'no.' So, we want privacy -- but we are not willing to do the things that are required to get it."
Niam said that these kinds of questions about what we want and what we're willing to do are particularly important in matters related to healthcare.
Healthcare data is extremely sensitive. I would be much more concerned if you have my full medical history than I would be if you had, for example, my location. This is especially true if a person has medical issues."
This type of data is also more valuable -- it's easy to monetize a comprehensive, reliable data set of medical data."
Of course, we do not want our medical data to be nonconsensually monetized. But at the same time, we are not willing to take agency in holding, managing, securing and keeping our own medical data safe. We always want somebody else to take on the cost and the risk of securing our medical data. We don't want to pay them to store it, and we also don't want them to share it with anybody else or make any money out of it."
This doesn't work. It's like going to a warehouse where you can store your stuff, and saying, 'Hey, I want a clean and secure space to keep my stuff, but I'm not going to pay you anything for it.' Storing data is just like that."
Niam said that decentralized technologies could provide an alternative option in the future.
I think that with the emergence of blockchain technology, we will start to see patient-mediated information exchange systems where people are empowered to be able to hold their own records, and also decide who gets to access and make money off of them."