The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is collecting information from public Facebook and Twitter posts in the hopes of using that information to improve its social media footprint and assess how Tweets can be used as “change-agents” for health behaviors among the general population.
The agency will install software on government computers, programs that will store data from social media posts at a cost of $30,000.
In a contract posted to the agency’s website on October 23 the NLM writes:
“The National Library of Medicine is the world’s largest biomedical library and makes its stored information available online at no charge to consumers, health professionals, and biomedical scientists through a diverse suite of resources. Evaluating how its databases and other resources are utilized is an important component of continuing quality improvement and has long been an on-going program of NLM management through a potpourri of monitoring tools.”
The NLM is a division of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Do you think data mining for the social good is a legitimate reason to collect data on individual users?