What Smart Homes Need To Get Right To Handle Health Data

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Smart home solutions and privacy concerns go hand in hand. Even after years, these solutions are yet to completely win consumers' trust. To curb this worry of being constantly heard or watched, many smart home device manufacturers have taken several steps to offers a more private and secure experience, especially with always-listening devices and smart cameras. But considering the pace at which smart home technology is growing and collecting more user data in the process, will these steps be enough?

Health Data Privacy
 

The pandemic has taught everyone the importance of personal health and gave birth to a new segment of products that can prevent users from potential health problems both physically and mentally. Many of these devices collect personal details like health information but also follow several privacy laws and regulations, but does this extend to the smart home market?

Personal Health Information At Stake

Personal Health Information At Stake

Many products make do with various sensors to analyze stress, fitness, and other measurements of the user's body. While some products such as smart doorbells measure the body temperature of visitors and prompt the user if it's higher than usual by flashing an LED. However, at a time when even a normal fever can cause panic, giving away such personal information sounds like a bad idea.

If you think privacy regulations are in your favor, you might be wrong. It's imperative to understand that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) applies to healthcare workers and people with your personal information. But the act doesn't apply to smart devices that collect your data.

Health Data Leak More Dangerous Than Video
 

Health Data Leak More Dangerous Than Video

Security vulnerabilities in your home network could be an opportunity for hackers to spy on you. While spying through a camera and getting access to someone's medical data are two entirely different things. A user's medical information leak can be far more damaging than other detail leaks.

It might sound very unlikely, but there have instances where personal data was used to terrorize users. There have been enough security breaches to make privacy concerns firm among users. However, many protections have been put in place and many are still required to ensure your data doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

Consequences Of Health Data Leak

Consequences Of Health Data Leak

To prevent health data leaks, encryptions need to be strong and safety precautions should be put in place. Be it simple application devices, advanced security techs, or any new technology for that matter, security is very important. And, with advancements in healthcare technology, the need for better security is higher than ever.

There are many potential risks if your health data is compromised. For instance: Employers tend to check the backgrounds of their potential employees and if a shortlisted person's health data is floating out there, it could hamper their job application. Even if the information isn't damaging, it can still change people's opinions about them.

Regardless of an illness or condition a person might be going through, it's not something they would like other people to know about. And, if such personal data gets out, it might not be good for them professionally and for their mental health.

Ensuring users that sensitive information like health data isn't easily available is the least companies can do when they collect data. To protect the data, these firms should opt for high-end military-grade encryption and also make two-factor authentication mandatory. This way they can promise users a more personalized experience and enable them to install smart home devices without worrying about giving their health data.

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