Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon are increasingly developing apps and services offering mental health treatment. The value of these products for users is dubious — but they do promise the companies lucrative new sources of highly personal data.
Anna-Verena Nosthoff is a social theorist and philosopher. She is codirector of the Critical Data Lab at Humboldt University of Berlin, affiliated researcher at the Institute of Network Cultures, and coauthor of Die Gesellschaft der Wearables (Nicolai, 2019).
Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed in 2019 that his company’s greatest achievement will be “about health.” But the pandemic has shown that Big Tech’s involvement in health care is all about data collection.