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The Digital Phenotype: a Philosophical and Ethical Exploration

The Digital Phenotype: a Philosophical and Ethical Exploration The concept of the digital phenotype has been used to refer to digital data prognostic or diagnostic of disease conditions. Medical conditions may be inferred from the time pattern in an insomniac’s tweets, the Facebook posts of a depressed individual, or the web searches of a hypochondriac. This paper conceptualizes digital data as an extended phenotype of humans, that is as digital information produced by humans and affecting human behavior and culture. It argues that there are ethical obligations to persons affected by generalizable knowledge of a digital phenotype, not only those who are personally identifiable or involved in data generation. This claim is illustrated by considering the health-related digital phenotypes of precision medicine and digital epidemiology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Philosophy & Technology Springer Journals

The Digital Phenotype: a Philosophical and Ethical Exploration

Philosophy & Technology , Volume 32 (1) – Jun 11, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Nature B.V.
Subject
Philosophy; Philosophy of Technology
ISSN
2210-5433
eISSN
2210-5441
DOI
10.1007/s13347-018-0319-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The concept of the digital phenotype has been used to refer to digital data prognostic or diagnostic of disease conditions. Medical conditions may be inferred from the time pattern in an insomniac’s tweets, the Facebook posts of a depressed individual, or the web searches of a hypochondriac. This paper conceptualizes digital data as an extended phenotype of humans, that is as digital information produced by humans and affecting human behavior and culture. It argues that there are ethical obligations to persons affected by generalizable knowledge of a digital phenotype, not only those who are personally identifiable or involved in data generation. This claim is illustrated by considering the health-related digital phenotypes of precision medicine and digital epidemiology.

Journal

Philosophy & TechnologySpringer Journals

Published: Jun 11, 2018

References