Privacy management and networked PPD systems - challenges and solutions
Modern personal portable health devices (PPDs) become increasingly part of a larger, inhomogeneous information system. Information collected by sensors are stored and processed in global clouds. Services are often free of charge, but at the same time service providers' business model is based on the disclosure of users' intimate health information. Health data processed in PPD networks is not regulated by health care specific legislation. In PPD networks, there is no guarantee that stakeholders share same ethical principles with the user. Often service providers have own security and privacy policies and they rarely offer to the user possibilities to define own, or adapt existing privacy policies. This all raises huge ethical and privacy concerns. In this paper, the authors have analyzed privacy challenges in PPD networks from users' viewpoint using system modeling method and propose the principle "Personal Health Data under Personal Control" must generally be accepted at global level. Among possible implementation of this principle, the authors propose encryption, computer understandable privacy policies, and privacy labels or trust based privacy management methods. The latter can be realized using infrastructural trust calculation and monitoring service. A first step is to require the protection of personal health information and the principle proposed being internationally mandatory. This requires both regulatory and standardization activities, and the availability of open and certified software application which all service providers can implement. One of those applications should be the independent Trust verifier.