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Facebook on the verge to ban the health research ads to stop the easy access of consumers' medical data

Facebook has long been accused for the mismanagement of some of its user’s privacy and the critics have recently raised their voices on a new issue. Privacy advocates have called out the tech giant as it allows various drug companies or researchers to randomly access people and question them about their related health issues.

According to the advocates this not only is a breach of privacy but straight out disrespectful. Facebook hence is now taking measures to prevent this. The tech giant is planning to impose a ban on advertisers targeting patients with questions related to their medical health and has deemed this under sensitive content. While Facebook will win the praises of the advocates through this step, there is one particular industry which will be massively affected by this.

It is the biomedical research industry. Technology has become so advanced and has connected people from far and wide together. Hence over the years with social media surveys it had become easier for biomedical industries to gather data on some researchers they were doing related to some disease.

However, while studies will still be able to take place online they will have to be more discreet through Zip codes. This will not only restrict the broadness of the population and diversity involved in the study but drive up its cost as well.

This decision has divided the advertising world into two parties. While the advocates are happy with the step the tech firm took by limiting the access pharmaceutical companies get with patient information because ultimately according to them it will stop the sale of harmful products out in the world, the other half has a different belief.

In testing times like Covid or any other medical emergency, the social media app has been of great help in gathering data within a matter of days. Moreover patients could find support groups and interact with various pages online which gave them the belief and notification that they were not alone in the world suffering.

So you see, both sides kind of stand on opposite ends, but both ends seem correct.

However, Facebook is taking its step forward by banning the ease of retaining medical information from patients for the reasons of a survey. The tech giant went through with this decision after various meetings and the advice of the civil rights experts and policymakers. While it was not an easy decision to make, the social media giant went through with it and the new policy will be implemented from January 19th onwards.


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