Regulators inquire about security of Apple’s Health app and HealthKit developer tools

Regulators inquire about security of Apple’s Health app and HealthKit developer tools
The Federal Trade Commission has met with representatives from Apple to discuss the handling of health data collected by Apple Health, and soon to be gathered by the forthcoming Apple Watch.

The primary concern of the FTC is ensuring collected data is not used in any manner without owner consent. Apple has stressed to regulators that a user’s health information would not be sold in any way, and it would not allow data to be treated that way by third-party developers using the HealthKit SDK.

According to Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller, “We designed HealthKit with privacy in mind,” allowing consumers to determine how information is used or shared. Muller also pointed out that Apple has been working closely with regulators around the world to provide assurances about the data protections in place for Health, “We’ve been very encouraged by their support.”

The FTC is not launching a formal investigation, but the inquiries do indicate a concern over potential risks related to how health data is collected outside the confines of medical equipment or a medical professional. The agency has requested that Congress pass legislation that would make the business practices of data brokers (third-party health-app companies) more visible.

One reason why this is such a concern is that data gathered by any health app, or wearable, whether from Apple, Samsung, Google, or the like, is not protected by HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The privacy rules cover everything, including what some might consider mundane data, like heart rates. Individual health information cannot be exchanged without consent of the person whose data it is.

Another reason for the inquiry, arguably more alarming, is that the FTC conducted a study of developers whose apps gathered health data. It was found that developers of 12 mobile health and fitness apps shared or sold that data to more than 76 different parties, including advertisers.

While it is not yet known how Apple will enforce its rules about not allowing developers to use health data for ads or data-mining, for now the company is trying to set the precedent that puts the control of health data in the hands of the consumer.

source: re/code

FEATURED VIDEO

12 Comments

1. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

Security and Apple DO NOT go hand in hand. This is all smoke and mirrors. Apple will allow the information to be sold.

2. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

See, we all know BB is best in security... But that doesn't mean others are weak...and sell their customers data... Come out of BB fantasy world...

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

You're saying that Apple doesn't sell their customers data, and I'M in a "fantasy world"? That reality distortion field is working overtime....

6. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

I know NSA has backdoors for apple,ms and google ... But that necessarily doesn't mean they sell thier data...it's forced upon them.... Who knows NSA has backdoor for BB too...since BB is not a so big of a name today...it has not created much interest....just a guess... See I'm not a BB hater or apple fan... I prefer android... I have always supported BB... but you're taking it too far...by statements such as.. BB is the only company innovating ...

7. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

The NSA has no backdoors to BlackBerry. Please show me where in this post or any other post that I've ever made on Phonearena that I said BlackBerry is the only company that is innovating. Post a link to the article, please. I'm waiting.... You're coming at me for something that so many others on this site do on BlackBerry articles. Where were you then to tell them that they are "taking it too far"? Also, NOWHERE in my comments on this article did I mention Google, Microsoft or Android....don't try and insinuate that I've said anything other than what I posted.

8. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Well, I don't have time to search for the article.... But when passport was announced.. You said that other companies don't innovative they just release same slabs over and over...only bb came with innovate idea.... See I'm talking to you because atleast you don't bash others....i commonly don't talk with fanboys who bash competitors products.... Of course you didn't mention google,ms but I said commonly...i Again, you can't be so sure that NSA doesn't have backdoor for BB..it's corporate world we know very little of it....

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

I'll save you the trouble of searching: THERE IS NO SUCH ARTICLE. I have NEVER SAID that other companies DIDN'T INNOVATE when the Passport was released. I said that the BlackBerry Passport was TRUE INNOVATION. I did mention that other companies release the same slabs over and over again, but that was in reference to DESIGN ONLY. And I'm not wrong about that. How many handsets look identical to one another in design? Too many. I said the Passport was "a breath of fresh air in a sea of "me too" handsets that populate the smartphone market". NOWHERE did I say other companies do not innovate. If you're going to attempt to say that I said something, at least quote me correctly. And the same way you're telling me "I shouldn't be saying this" is the same way you could have said the same to any of the haters and trolls that come to BlackBerry articles to bash the platform. If you're not going to be fair and say it to others, then don't say it to me, either. And the NSA has no backdoors to BB10.

10. shuaibhere

Posts: 1986; Member since: Jul 07, 2012

Peace brother.. I'm not here to fight with you.... I have said same to many trolls... But I don't see many trolling on BB articles... Again I'm saying I don't talk with haters who don't give damn about competitors product and come here just to hate.... And I think you're not one of them... That's why I'm talking to you... Don't take it personally....

12. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

You need to really look again at any given BlackBerry article. You will see much trolling. Peace.

3. strudelz100

Posts: 646; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

In what way is Apple less secure than Google? The company that makes Android also makes all of its money off of ads generated from user location data, Google Apps data and search results. Go figure.

5. meanestgenius

Posts: 22249; Member since: May 28, 2014

Never compared the two, now did I?

11. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

Apple built the health kit platform to consolidate data and copy it to their servers, so they can monetize it. Apple did not build this because they like doing good works for charity. And there is some question on whether or not Apple will share/sell this data? Apple met with every single major health insurance company while building this platform. It was certainly not to say "no data for you". Unless you are a f**king retard, you know anything and everything will be for sale.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.