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State AGs urge Apple to higher shield reproductive well being information

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

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

The group stated location historical past, search historical past and adjoining well being information — info associated to previous, current or future reproductive well being of the consumer — may pose a danger to folks in search of or offering abortions, contraception or different reproductive care.

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

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The letter notes that Apple incessantly touts excessive requirements relating to information 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 fulfill sure threshold safety necessities, equivalent to encryption of biometric and different delicate well being information saved on functions, use of end-to-end encryption when transmitting stated information and compliance with Apple’s consumer opt-out controls,” the attorneys common wrote. “To make sure long-term compliance, Apple ought to conduct periodic audits and take away or refuse to checklist third-party apps in violation of those requirements.”

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

THE LARGER TREND

After the Dobbs determination got here down over the summer time, some safety specialists raised issues information collected in reproductive well being and interval monitoring apps may very well be used as proof in states the place abortion is now restricted. Others be aware there’s quite a lot of digital info that may very well be dangerous, like textual content messages or search historical past. 

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

ON THE RECORD

“Defending reproductive privateness within the wake of the Dobbs determination is paramount. Regardless of selling privateness as one in every of its ‘core values’ Apple merely has not performed sufficient to make sure that personal reproductive well being information collected and saved by apps is not going to be used to trace, harass or criminalize these looking for to train their reproductive freedoms,” New Jersey Legal professional Basic Matthew J. Platkin stated in a press release. 

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