How Companies Scour Our Digital Lives for Clues to Our Health
'Your digital footprint — how often you post on social media, how quickly you scroll through your contacts, how frequently you check your phone late at night — could hold clues to your physical and mental health.
That at least is the theory behind an emerging field, digital phenotyping, that is trying to assess people’s well-being based on their interactions with digital devices. Researchers and technology companies are tracking users’ social media posts, calls, scrolls and clicks in search of behavior changes that could correlate with disease symptoms. Some of these services are opt-in. At least one is not.
People typically touch their phones 2,617 per day, according to one study — leaving a particularly enticing trail of data to mine.
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