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3 - Social Media Platforms as Public Health Arbiters

Global Ethical Considerations on Privacy, Legal, and Cultural Issues Associated with Suicide Detection Algorithms

from Part I - Platforms, Apps and Digital Health

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 September 2022

Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci
Affiliation:
University of Copenhagen
Michael Lowery Wilson
Affiliation:
University of Turku, Finland
Mark Fenwick
Affiliation:
Kyushu University, Japan
Nikolaus Forgó
Affiliation:
Universität Wien, Austria
Till Bärnighausen
Affiliation:
Universität Heidelberg
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Summary

The emergence of Facebook’s suicide prevention algorithm has prompted discussion around whether social media platforms have a role to play in public health surveillance. Concerns have been raised about an entity that is not a public interest health authority collecting and acting on the private health information of its users, particularly sensitive data like an individual’s mental health status. Mental illnesses are still heavily stigmatised, despite continued efforts to normalise these conditions in some regions of the world. Depending on a user’s geographic location, the ramifications of the suicide detection algorithms generating false positives for suicide risk could have severe consequences. The present chapter continues this discourse by examining the ethical implications of Facebook’s suicide prevention algorithm from the privacy, legal, and cultural perspectives.

Type
Chapter
Information
AI in eHealth
Human Autonomy, Data Governance and Privacy in Healthcare
, pp. 68 - 86
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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