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Does Your Doctor Google You?

Every time I see story about people searching for people on the Internet and that people are shocked to learn this is going on shocks me.

(I swear I have written that line before. Oh wait, I have)

Seriously, we search for everything online so it should not be shock that others are searching for us online.

I was out with some friends for dinner and it was clear that one person at the table had used Google to find stuff about me. How do I know? They knew stuff no one else did and could only have gotten it from a blog post, news article or Facebook.

And I was OK with it.

Folks, this happens every day.

Below is an interview from CNBC “Is Your Dr. "Googling" You?

I would expect patients are using Google to check on their doctor so why would the doctor not be doing this to a patient?

Dr. Deborah Peel calls it snooping. Really? Snooping to me is going through someone’s diary, garbage or email. Looking for stuff online in the public domain is called research.

So I can have anyone in the world look at my Facebook profile but a doctor should stay away? I dunno about that.

 

Comments

Emily Jasper

Kristina Proctor pointed me to this post, and of course, I'm happy to see we all have the same thoughts. I know that I Google people all the time. In fact, it's made a huge impact on decisions. For example, if I'm talking to a marketing department about social media innovation, I look up the contacts. If all I get is a LinkedIn profile that's probably only at 5%, then I'm disappointed. How can we talk about social media next steps if they aren't participating to begin with? It should be a Basics 101 call instead.

Missy @ The Marketing Mama

This is a new way of thinking about things. I google people all the time. But now I also check Linked In, facebook and twitter to see if they are there and how much dirt, ahem, info I can find.

I've also had people mention things to me that they only could know about from doing their research. It's very flattering, if not a teeny tiny bit creepy. :)

Diora

One issue that I think nobody seems to consider is not what doctor can type about you but what the doctor reveals about you by the mere act of googling.
Google is not secure. When you search for something in Google, your search information is saved on Google servers. Not only that, but this information is not transmitted securely, so your ISP or even somebody with malicious intent can capture it.

Looking at it from this perspective, the main issue for me here is what kind of information the doctor types into Google when he does it.
If he just types my name, I have no problem with that, though if I didn't want anybody to know that I am going to this doctor I might've had a problem.

But if the doctor only searches on a name, he doesn't really know if he got the right person. So my concert would be - what if doctor finds something about somebody else and thinks it's me? If I google for my name now, I see some related links and a couple of somebody else's facebook pages (I don't have one). I even saw my name once under a political petition that I'd be against: it supported a political candidate I voted against. So, searches by first-last name aren't exactly reliable.

But if a doctor types in Jane Doe, 123-356-7897, or Jane Doe, 111 Main Street, Nowhereville, he reveals my name and phone number to Google and potentially to the world. Now, if you are in a phone book it might not be a big deal but...

What if he types in more sensitive info e.g. SSN? This makes me open to identity theft. In fact this is the post from a security expert that actually shows that this can be done: http://jack-mannino.blogspot.com/2010/02/dont-search-for-your-social-security.html


Do to me, it's really what the doctor types in...

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