Microsoft Grudgingly Assumes Expanded Big Brother Role

Health Vault MS

“The value of what we’re doing will go up rapidly as we get more partners,” said Peter Neupert, the vice president in charge of Microsoft’s health group.

New York Times October 4th, 2007

Ehh..? And I thought they made operating systems and mp3 players! Microsoft’s ‘health group’? The NYTimes reports this unblinkingly, of course. Microsoft, software company and giant collator of private information is using that synergy to expand its Big Brother operations as a ‘health group’. Am I the only one that is bothered by this kind of thing? Microsoft says that it is,

starting its long-anticipated drive into the consumer health care market by offering free personal health records on the Web

I’m unimpressed. No–I’m sick, actually. Sick because no one is going to care about this just like no one, at least yet, seems to care that the venture capital for the social networking scheme, Facebook, was put up by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Maybe I’m overreacting. It wouldn’t be the first time. Maybe this new MS venture will be, as they say, ‘really cool’!!! Next Microsoft’s ‘health group’ will link up to your Kroger Plus card so that your health insurer can instantly adjust your rates when you purchase a pack of squares or a box of Twinkies.

I’m no Luddite, but this is truly bizarre. Business Week fawns over MS’s plan and details how it might make a billion bucks a year off this newest Big Brother subsidiary. MS is calling it Health Vault and of course claims that it will be secure. And if you believe that I can sell you Dick Cheney’s waistline. Nothing is secure. And your health records won’t be either. But that isn’t my biggest concern. Why the f/k do we even need this? Oh, yeah. Efficiency. We have almost 50 million folks with absolutely no health insurance whatsoever and the US with all of its magical private market has no answer but to continue creating more uninsured people. The magical market does however have a great plan to sell those of you that still have insurance, for now, yet another service to make your life more convenient.

So what if it adds to the surveillance state. Won’t it be worth it to not have to fill out that stupid clipboard for the umpteenth time when you go visit the clinic?

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