Use Health Vault, Lose Your Rights

Microsoft has announced (NY Times Article) Health Vault. What should have followed here is a review of the service by my actually trying it. I was in the process of registering when I began reading the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and I had to stop right there with my review when I read it. In addition to the contract being lengthy, it specifically states: “In using the Service, you may not:

* use the Service in a way that harms us or our affiliates, resellers, distributors, and/or vendors (collectively, the “Microsoft parties”), or any customer of a Microsoft party;”

I presume that would also include a negative review of the software so I did not accept the terms. It further goes on to say: “We may use technology or other means to protect the Service, protect our customers, or stop you from breaching this Service Agreement…In order to provide you the Service, we may collect certain information about Service performance, your machine and your Service use. We may automatically upload this information from your machine.”

Heard enough? So had I. I’m absolutely going to pass on Health Vault. In addition to looking like the Microsoft Passport debacle redux, this is a very one-sided contract. They can harm you but you cannot harm them. There is no way for any 3rd party to verify that their privacy and security software works.

I did not accept their terms of service and neither should you. Especially when LGPL’ed alternatives such as Indivo Health that have been around for years exists.

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