State AGs urge Apple to higher defend reproductive well being knowledge

Ten state attorneys basic are urging Apple so as to add new protections for reproductive well being knowledge contained in third-party apps hosted on the App Retailer.

In a letter despatched to CEO Tim Prepare dinner, attorneys basic of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont and Washington stated lax guidelines for safeguarding reproductive well being knowledge may hurt sufferers or suppliers within the wake of the Supreme Courtroom resolution that overturned Roe v. Wade. 

The group stated location historical past, search historical past and adjoining well being knowledge — info associated to previous, current or future reproductive well being of the person — may pose a threat to folks searching for or offering abortions, contraception or different reproductive care.

The attorneys basic argue Apple ought to require app builders to delete location, search and well being knowledge that is not required for the app to operate. Apps must also present clear notices that element how their knowledge is getting used, retained and shared in addition to solely present that knowledge to 3rd events with a subpoena, search warrant or court docket order.

The letter notes that Apple regularly touts excessive requirements relating to knowledge safety and privateness, and it ought to maintain third-party apps to its personal guidelines.

“At minimal, Apple ought to require apps on the App Retailer to satisfy sure threshold safety necessities, equivalent to encryption of biometric and different delicate well being knowledge saved on purposes, use of end-to-end encryption when transmitting stated knowledge and compliance with Apple’s person opt-out controls,” the attorneys basic wrote. “To make sure long-term compliance, Apple ought to conduct periodic audits and take away or refuse to listing third-party apps in violation of those requirements.”

Apple didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

THE LARGER TREND

After the Dobbs resolution got here down over the summer season, some safety consultants raised issues knowledge collected in reproductive well being and interval monitoring apps could possibly be used as proof in states the place abortion is now restricted. Others notice there is a number of digital info that could possibly be dangerous, like textual content messages or search historical past. 

The letter from state attorneys basic famous a latest report from the Mozilla Basis that discovered numerous interval monitoring, being pregnant, and well being and health apps have poor requirements for knowledge privateness. Different analysis has discovered many ladies’s well being apps share knowledge with third events or do not clearly show privateness insurance policies. 

ON THE RECORD

“Defending reproductive privateness within the wake of the Dobbs resolution is paramount. Regardless of selling privateness as one in all its ‘core values’ Apple merely has not carried out sufficient to make sure that personal reproductive well being knowledge collected and saved by apps is not going to be used to trace, harass or criminalize these in search of to train their reproductive freedoms,” New Jersey Legal professional Normal Matthew J. Platkin stated in an announcement. 

Sam Bankman-Fried Conspired With SEC for “Particular Remedy:” US Congressman

Why API safety is a fast-growing menace to data-driven enterprises