Adams, Everett, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Ibrahim, Ahmed, Computer Science, University of Virginia
Baritaud, Catherine, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The rapid growth of technology along with the ever-increasing need for more data have
created new concerns over data privacy. The technical thesis will be the development of a mobile
application of the web application MindTrails, run by the research group of the same name. A
mobile application not only will increase ease of use, but allow for more data collection that can
be used by the research group. The STS thesis will be on the lack of proper medical data
regulation, its causes and how it can be fixed. This can showcase problems in the current
regulation process and encourage others to propose alternative solutions. The two topics relate to
each other since the mobile application has the goal of collecting personal medical data of users.
MindTrails currently exists as a web application helping users with anxiety disorders
through cognitive bias modification treatment. Creating a mobile application will enable the
research team running MindTrails to collect more data that they can use for research. It also will
create a more user-friendly platform, increasing its audience and user retention. Work on the app
was done by a team of eight people, lasting two semesters. The team split up work into smaller
groups in order to maintain a proper workflow.
The application has most of the intended functionality original set out on. It is currently
in a state where the MindTrails team can finalize the application. The architecture now allows
any desired changes to be implemented easier than the previous architecture. While the app is not
ready to be published, both the capstone team and the MindTrails team are happy at the final
product and believe it functions as a good launching point for the new user interface that another
capstone group made for the MindTrails team.
Advances in data science, and in the ability to collect and store vast quantities of data has
threatened the data privacy of many consumers. This is especially true in the medical field, since
medical data is so highly valued and traded. Existing regulation has failed to tackle these issues
while new regulation has been inadequate. Through an actor-network theory analysis using case
studies of recently passed data regulation, the research will highlight areas where consumer
needs are downplayed or ignored.
New data, such as from google searches or from wearable technology, can be used to
effectively track or evaluate medical conditions. Consumers often do not know what data is
being collected, and have even less knowledge of who that data gets sold to. Even when new
regulation is made, the wishes of businesses are weighted far more than the wishes of the
consumer. Recent regulation has worked to fix this issue, but has left serious gaps in protection
and caused unforeseen side-effects. This is why regulatory bodies should incorporate a board
specifically entrusted to gather and represent specifically consumer opinion.
Technology will continue to grow, and data will continue to be harvested in extreme
amounts. Regulatory bodies must be able to react quickly to new technology, and be able to
create regulation that meets the needs of consumers.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Medical Data Regulation, MindTrails, HIPAA, Consumer Data Privacy

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Catherine Baritaud
STS Advisor: Ahmed Abrahim
Technical Team Members: Jeffrey Gerken, Danielle Newman, William Ngu, Jacobo Pacheco, Brady Page, Daniel Zarco

All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: