This week, Google launched its newest health-related project — the Google Flu Trends tracker. The Internet giant's philanthropic arm, Google.org, is tracking people's searches for terms like "flu symptoms," "thermometer" or "flu diagnosis" as indicators of parts of the country where there may be flu activity. According to the site, it will have the ability to "estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional flu surveillance systems." They worked with the CDC to test their accuracy and are confident that it will be a helpful tool this flu season.
Some are skeptical of the tracker's accuracy, while others worry that it shouldn't be relied on because the at risk elderly population won't be searching on the Internet. Still others are a little worried about the big brother reminiscent aspects of Google working with the government to track search. While Google has had search trends visible for a while, this seems like a more drilled down focus on them. So what do you think about Google Flu Trends tracker, helpful tool or does it feel like an invasion of privacy?