Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in activity trackers, smartphones and smartwatches are may be a matter of privacy. The study led by an Indian-origin researcher, arguing that current laws and regulations do not safeguard individuals’ confidential health information. The findings, led by University of California – Berkeley engineer Anil Aswani, showed that by using AI. It is possible to identify individuals by learning daily patterns in step data. Such as that collected by activity trackers, smartwatches and smartphones. Also, correlating it to demographic data.
“The results point out a major problem. If you strip all the identifying information, it doesn’t protect you as much as you’d think. Someone else can come back and put it all back together. If they have the right kind of information, by using artificial intelligence” Aswani said.
However, according to Aswani, the problem is not with the devices, but with how the information the devices capture can be misused. It is potentially sold on the open market. The study, published in the JAMA Network Open journal, analyzed data covering more than 15,000 Americans. Also, concluded that the privacy standards associated with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act legislation need to be revisited and reworked.
“There are companies buying health data. It’s supposed to be anonymous data but brands use to sell it,” Aswani said.