I agree, I love the idea of making screening tests available, but I’m not comfortable with a marketing company that already knows so much about us through our search and browsing habits being able to put that together with the answers to the test.
Here’s the thing… Depression screening tests — like the PHQ-9 that Google is now offering on its website — are super helpful tools to give a person a little more insight into the possibility of having a serious mental illness. The problem with Google offering it is that this mega-marketing company is collecting your health data. Do you really want Google to have this kind of sensitive information about your mood?
Here’s my problem. As I’ve said many times before, Google, for all of it’s tools and functions, is a company that sells advertising. That’s where it actually makes it’s money. Advertising companies want nothing more than personal information in order to better target advertising at us. Can we really trust that Google will simply “ignore” this information and not use it? Isn’t this the same company that scans email for information about us? That tracks us across the web to get more information about us? That forced us all to use our real names on their social network so that they could get more information about us?
So, by all means, take a screening test. Just maybe find somewhere a bit more anonymous to do it.