posted Sept. 9, 2016
Social media sites like Facebook regularly suggest "people you may know" to their users, in order to encourage them to add more friends. These suggestions are generated by complex algorithms incorporating many elements, including your browsing patterns, geographic location, what you've "liked" and information you've provided, including your contact information. This is where it gets tricky.
recent article about a psychiatrist who began noticing some of her patients were among the people Facebook was recommending as friends. She was baffled until she realized her patients all had her phone number in their cell phones, and an algorithm analysing all these records made a guess that these people were connected.
Accepting these Facebook friend recommendations could be crossing a professional boundary and/or breaching patient confidentiality.
Meanwhile, WhatsApp will
start sharing your personal data with Facebook on Sept. 25. It’s recommended you turn off this feature on your mobile device before then.
These are just two examples of why health care professionals must be mindful about using social media.