Your Pills Are Spying On You

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From Pacific Standard: The new Abilify MyCite pill, which contains a digital sensor that tracks whether a patient has ingested the drug, has the potential to dramatically increase civil rights violations against people diagnosed with mental illness.

“The use of Web technology to track medication has been emerging over the past decade or so. The technology has arrived with the usual benefits and risks of the Internet of Things: timely reminders, cool gadgets, vulnerability to hacking, loss of control over one’s data, state surveillance. When it comes to a pill like MyCite, America’s history of coercive psychiatric medication intensifies the risks. If the medical technology is simply used to help people remember to voluntarily take their pills, so much the better. Alas, that’s unlikely to be the case. People with psychiatric disabilities, especially poor and otherwise vulnerable people, are too often forced to choose between mandatory compliance and basic freedom. MyCite makes it easier to demand that people surrender their privacy in order to conform to some artificial idea of normal.”

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