Facebook Goes to the Doctor


M. Bishop, C. Gates, P. Yellowlees, and G. Silberman, “Facebook Goes to the Doctor,” Proceedings of the 2011 Workshop on Governance of Technology, Information, and Policies pp. 13–20 (June 2011).



The use of computer-based social networks for health care changes the privacy paradigm of face-to-face treatment. For example, in an office, a patient can be reasonably sure that the physician or therapist is the only one present, and is who has been providing treatment. On a computer-based social network, communications travel over the World Wide Web, raising the possibility of eavesdropping, delay, and other problems. Further, verification of the party with whom the patient is communicating is more difficult, and to many less credible, than in-person verification. This paper describes the privacy paradigm, presents a set of requirements for effective use of computer-based social networks in health care, discusses what current technology can provide, and what gaps must be closed to meet the rest of the requirements.

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DOI: 10.1145/2076496.2076498