Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Google Medicine Science

Google Wants To Monitor Your Mental Health (telegraph.co.uk) 105

New submitter Alypius writes: Dr Tom Insel, the head of the NIH, will be joining Google Life Sciences to research how wearable technology, already used for monitoring physical activity and sleep, can be expanded to cover mental health issues such as depression. Dr. Insel will also be researching how to integrate tech to monitor other aspects of day-to-day living such as calorie and alcohol consumption.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Wants To Monitor Your Mental Health

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 30, 2015 @06:35AM (#50831285)

    Here it is:

    • Headline edit: "Google Wants To Monitor."
    • by Anonymous Coward

      My colon? Good.

    • I think I'm going to go against the grain here because what Google is planning is exactly what people have been asking for recently. And you know what? I agree, at least, in the context of the US anyways.

      As many are aware, the US has quite a higher number of serial killers than most countries, in addition to mass murderers. Lots of people are suggesting that revoking the second amendment is the solution, but not only is that going to be a wasted effort (you wouldn't even be able to get a portion of congress

      • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

        At least some of those people already had a history of mental health issues. It's how we care for those individuals and how we protect society from them that are the parts that are desperately in need of work.

        • by dpilot ( 134227 )

          >At least some of those people already had a history of mental health issues.

          And the surprising thing is that it seems we can't keep guns out of their hands, either. I don't think anyone would stand up and argue for the rights of the mentally ill to carry firearms, but that has been the side effect of what we have actually practised.

          • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

            Taking rights away from people with mental issues will encourage those same people to not seek help in the first place. It's a tricky issue.

        • So people who need help will no longer turn to the Internet for support. Gun control is a much better solution. It works elsewhere.
          • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

            Gun control is dead-on-arrival unless you plan to amend the Constitution. I don't see it ever happening in the US in our lifetimes. Many people don't want to live in a country where the laws demand that they be defenseless, especially in a nation vast enough that for all practical purposes, there are no authorities to get immediate assistance from. What you're suggesting is no less of a change than suggesting that freedom of speech be taken away.

            • The militia at the time was defined as white male property owners between 18 and 45, and they were to store their rifles in their attics when not in use. Even going back to that standard would be an improvement.

              Also, Canada is larger in area than the US, and people prefer to live here in part because of the lesser gun violence, in part because of universal health care, and in part because we don't let the NRA and right-wing religion into our politics.

              • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

                You want to go back to the earlier standard that denied equal rights to non-whites and non-property-owners? That's not going to happen. The attic bit is handled by the states, some require trigger locks, gun safes, or other measures.

                I don't want to get into "my country is better than your country". If you like Canada, you can keep your Canada. I like the government the Constitution lays out and I hope some day the US will return to it. I'm not in favor of denying groups like the NRA or even labor union

                • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                  Well put. If you do not mind sharing, what is your political affiliation?

                  • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

                    Unaffiliated. Would be conservative if there was such a party.

                    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

                      You'd probably fit under the Libertarian tent nicely but we've kind of been overrun by a vocal minority that are, truly, idiots so you might not want to. Unaffiliated seems wise.

                • Hey don't blame me - it was YOUR constitution that started out as a racist, misogynist document to preserve power only in the hands of old white men.
          • Only there isn't any evidence to suggest that it does work elsewhere. There are many countries besides the US with even more liberal freedom for arms, yet the number of crimes involving them isn't anywhere near as high.

            Besides that, serial killers in particular uncommonly use any type of firearm, as they tend to prefer means of execution that are up close and personal. The US also has the highest number of serial killers, with England (where even cooking knives are restricted) being in second place.

            Regardle

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        As many are aware, the US has quite a higher number of serial killers than most countries, in addition to mass murderers. Lots of people are suggesting that revoking the second amendment is the solution, but not only is that going to be a wasted effort (you wouldn't even be able to get a portion of congress to be on board, and even then, an act of congress just isn't enough) but it likely won't solve any problems.

        That said, it would be wise if we could better understand what motivates most people to do this

        • by OhPlz ( 168413 )

          You had a guy rampage through parliament a while back and there was what, one good guy with a tiny pistol to stop him? That doesn't sound ideal.

  • Hooray! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @06:40AM (#50831297) Journal
    I, for one, definitely can't imagine how a plan by one of the world's more prominent advertising and 'consumer analytics' outfits to gather personal information about a heavily stigmatized class of disorders through a channel that will allow them to avoid any restrictions that might have applied to 'protected health information' could possibly go wrong. Seems like a great idea.
    • That was my first thought.

      My second thought is that Google already knows if you have depression from analyzing your email and smartphone usage. So this won't tell them much new.

    • Re:Hooray! (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 30, 2015 @07:46AM (#50831507)

      Don't worry:

      1: The data won't wind up in a ChoicePoint database which will be used by your employer's HR department to find people "at risk" and fire them. Well, with companies having the attitude of "frog-march them out now, let them sue us from a physically safe distance", finding out an employee is feeling depressed won't affect much.

      2: No health insurance company would use that info to raise rates, especially with Obamacare forcing people to pay the $400/month/person premiums or face Federal prison time. Health insurance companies are happy with the profits they are getting and would never jack up someone's premiums

      3: No politician would ever use this data to flag someone as an invalid and force them to hand any guns or other items over.

      4: This data would never be used by an ex-spouse as a way to say that the kids are in mortal danger and kill all rights completely in a divorce.

      5: No DA would ever use this data for arrests so he or she can meet their quota to keep their campaign contributions coming in from the private prison lobby. Remember: 48 states signed an agreement stating they would keep their private jails at 90% or more capacity or else pay fines by the hour. With marijuana being legalized, those bed spaces have to be filled up somehow.

      6: No judge would use this for a sentence in a case. Since mentally ill people tend to not exactly be rich in general, no judge would take advantage of that fact and pass longer sentences to keep the private prison campaign funds rolling in.

      What could possibly go wrong with companies looking for people and if they are mentally ill, then selling that info? Hey, selling stuff on people is the entire lifeblood of Web 2.0 companies, right? /sarcasm

      • 6: No judge would use this for a sentence in a case. Since mentally ill people tend to not exactly be rich in general, no judge would take advantage of that fact and pass longer sentences to keep the private prison campaign funds rolling in.

        If someone is mentally ill to the point where they could not, at some time, tell right from wrong, they are not held criminally responsible, and are committed to a hospital until they are deemed to be a lower risk.

        Which brings us to:

        5: No DA would ever use this data for arrests so he or she can meet their quota to keep their campaign contributions coming in from the private prison lobby. Remember: 48 states signed an agreement stating they would keep their private jails at 90% or more capacity or else pay fines by the hour. With marijuana being legalized, those bed spaces have to be filled up somehow.

        DAs wouldn't want any data that a person is mentally ill to be submitted to the court - it will screw up their conviction rate, which means those cells stay empty.

        Now look at this:

        4: This data would never be used by an ex-spouse as a way to say that the kids are in mortal danger and kill all rights completely in a divorce.

        So what happens to all those people who are fighting to keep their kids, plan to drop this

        • 6: No judge would use this for a sentence in a case. Since mentally ill people tend to not exactly be rich in general, no judge would take advantage of that fact and pass longer sentences to keep the private prison campaign funds rolling in.

          If someone is mentally ill to the point where they could not, at some time, tell right from wrong, they are not held criminally responsible, and are committed to a hospital until they are deemed to be a lower risk.

          Which brings us to:

          5: No DA would ever use this data for arrests so he or she can meet their quota to keep their campaign contributions coming in from the private prison lobby. Remember: 48 states signed an agreement stating they would keep their private jails at 90% or more capacity or else pay fines by the hour. With marijuana being legalized, those bed spaces have to be filled up somehow.

          DAs wouldn't want any data that a person is mentally ill to be submitted to the court - it will screw up their conviction rate, which means those cells stay empty.

          Now look at this:

          IANAL but mental illness generally isn't a defense, the only way it helps is if you were so ill that you couldn't control your actions and/or determine right from wrong. Evidence of a mental illness such as depression (or something more serious) is probably going to help the prosecution by stigmatizing the jury against the defendant and making an irrational action (ie a criminal act) seem more likely.

          Either way it's pretty rare: [jrank.org]

          Successful NGRI defenses are rare. While rates vary from state to state, on aver

          • Mental illness certainly is a defense, for arguing diminished capacity/extenuating circumstances, and for arguing the inability to distinguish right from wrong at the moment because of their distorted view of reality. Any jury properly instructed by the judge will not view mental illness as stigmatizing. This is not the 20th century - mental illness carries less and less stigma every year,

            Now, since you bring up depression ...

            I freely admit to having both post-traumatic stress and major depressive disorde [slashdot.org]

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      If it increases profits it is the right thing to do.

    • Agreed. I suffer from a mental illness, and I would like to tell Google to go fuck themselves, but in all likelihood they've already mined my Gmail account and inferred my diagnosis.
  • Certainly google's servers would burst into flames with the mental health states routinely on display here. I expect it would come back a lot like this Dilbert strip with Wally [dilbert.com].
    • Certainly google's servers would burst into flames with the mental health states routinely on display here.

      You must be one of those Kenyan-president-supporting Windows-using Uber-critic anarchofacist one world truther slashdot users... and a Mets fan..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, I bet our mental health is what google is concerned with, not how to profit on it.

  • Can Google monitor (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    how many of the "refugees" are unattached single males with radical Islamic views?

  • So, if I were to Google "Dexter Morgan is my hero", will the men in white coats come knocking at my door?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Fuck you, Google.

  • by Rising Ape ( 1620461 ) on Friday October 30, 2015 @07:28AM (#50831449)

    In the past, believing that powerful global forces were watching your every action would have been evidence of paranoia. So I'd like to commend Google for effectively treating that delusional belief by turning it into a rational fear, and thus no longer a mental illness.

    • Yeah, my thought exactly - ... Guess I need a more Faraday Cage-y Faraday Cage ... hmm here's some tinfoil in my kitchen cupboard... that should do nicely....

      In all seriousness though yes. I feel like in retrospect, Orwell was an optimist.

    • This is rated as "Funny". It's not, it's fact.
  • If you're using Google, a known privacy invasion vector, on purpose... you're crazy.
  • Google is like a creepy uncle who you regularly catch rooting through your dirty underwear when you come home unexpectedly
  • If you use Gmail, they already have all the information to very accurately determine your state of mental health.
  • 1984 thought police comes to mind...

  • (DISCLAIMER: I don't give a shit if you trample my lawn) Just 'grow up'. And find the right folks to hang around with who you trust to supply honest and direct feedback on your progress. In growing up I mean.

    Growing up means fixing yourself on a 24 hour cycle of basic habit, eating, pooping and sleeping at the same times every day, including 'weekends' because your biology recommends it. The week is an artificial construct and what everyone calls the Monday and Tuesday blahs is usually jet lag from the week

  • Your LightSpeed Briefs (TM)

  • Even if they don't volunteer to report dangerous deviations, they may be compelled to do so by the future Department of Justice.

    And, given an already existing opinion [psychologytoday.com] — not all of it humorous [psychologytoday.com] — that certain political convictions are either coincidental to or outright symptomatic of a mental disorder, the future of political dissent is bleak indeed.

    The way Google in particular treats their own workforce [socialism.com] may be indicative of what may, one day, be in store for ordinary Internet-users — incl

  • Oh, I complained about google! I must be suffering from a mental disorder. Because those are always so easy to define ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] ).

  • I've been hearing big-brother paranoia theories for decades now. It used to be using credit cards - remember how that would allow the evil corporations to track your every move? Well, now everybody uses them for everything, and the world hasn't collapsed into a dystopian police state yet. And what about those threads in $20 bills? Have they rounded up all the cash yet?

    Besides, this story isn't as evil as the headline states anyway - Google doesn't "want" to do anything, they're just doing research at th

  • It's usually not difficult to notice that you've got a physical illness that's affecting you (although some people have managed to do it). It can be a lot more difficult to notice a mental illness, since it can seriously affect your perceptions. The last time I got serious clinical depression, I really didn't notice it, since keeping my mood positive is one of my coping strategies. My wife noticed it, sent me to the doctor, and I'm doing much better now. I'd be in trouble if it wasn't for her.

    People

  • I like the idea but battery technology just isn't there yet.

  • Let me guess, some Democrat thought this was a good idea who more than likely attended liberal arts and social science school.

  • Can you imagine the embedded ads now?

    No, and HELL no!

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

Working...