An op-ed for TechCrunch looks at the use of big data and its analysis by machine learning and artificial intelligence, particularly as it relates to anonymized medical data sets. Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler notes there is an assumption that as long as data sets are anonymized, active consent of individuals is not needed to include their data. “To put it bluntly, anyone who releases a medical database today without obtaining individuals’ consent for the use of their health records, with the excuse that the information is anonymous, is conning us,” Altshuler wrote. She adds that decision-makers need to address the risks involved while considering the right to privacy, and the possibility that re-identification of a medical data set is a “real and rational fear.” Editor’s Note: An article for The Privacy Advisor recently covered the issue of consent of de-identified data.
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