August 1, 2018
A group of consumer genetic and personal genomic testing companies have released a set of best practices for handling consumers’ personal genetic data.
Designed to ensure privacy and promote transparency, the guidelines include a requirement for separate express consent before a company can transfer genetic data to a third party, such as an insurer or employer.
“Supporting strong and transparent...
April 10, 2018
With discussions on consumer data privacy again reaching a head amongst the lay press and lawmakers, it isn’t too far a stretch to wonder whether the data collected continuously through health and fitness wearables is receiving appropriate scrutiny.
During a wearables-focused panel discussion held yesterday at PULSE: The Atlantic Summit on Health Care in Boston, top names from Fitbit, Empatica,...
February 12, 2018
Data from a recent analysis suggest that a substantial number of popular health apps have major privacy and security shortcomings, with many not following standard practices and upcoming European Union data safety regulations.
The study, which examined a selection of 20 apps from the top 1080 of the “Medical” and “Health and Fitness” sections of the Google Play store, identified a number of minor...
July 19, 2016
The ONC issued a report to Congress today laying out the gaps that exist in health data protection. The report opines at length about non-covered entities (NCEs), the large swath of consumer-facing companies that aren’t subject to HIPAA.
“The wearable fitness trackers, social media sites where individuals share health information through specific social networks, and other technologies that are...
February 18, 2016
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday cited backdoor access to health records as just one of many violations of privacy the FBI would be guilty of if the iPhone maker agreed to create a means to unlock a user’s smartphone.
Cook made the argument in an open letter strongly rebuffing the U.S. government’s efforts to get Apple to unlock an iPhone owned by one of the terrorists involved in the December...
January 28, 2015
This week the Federal Trade Commission published a report focused on privacy and security issues related to the massive Internet of Things (IoT) trend, which includes the growing number of connected health devices. The report summarizes the discussions that took place at an FTC-hosted workshop in November 2013, and it also includes recommendations for the industry from FTC's staff, which they put...
November 25, 2014
Graphic from NPR
According to a new survey from Truven Health Analytics and NPR, 68 percent of American consumers are willing to share health information with researchers, but this group of people is more likely to be wealthy, well-educated, and young.
Truven surveyed 3,000 Americans via landlines, mobile phones, and the web, with the group filtered by generation, education level and income...
July 24, 2014
At a Tech in Policy event sponsored by Washington, D.C. newspaper The Hill, FTC Commissioner Julie Brill made it clear that the FTC is aware of recent concerns about health app data privacy and security and is looking into new ways to police the industry.
"The law is, on some level, always going to lag behind technology," she said. "Technology is moving at lightning speed. Our job at the...
July 21, 2014
In a new report from the California HealthCare Foundation, the report's author, health economist and consultant Jane Sarasohn-Kahn concludes that while the increasing amount of consumer wellness and fitness data collected today has a lot of value for personalized healthcare, it also presents new risks for consumer privacy.
For one thing, as healthcare moves out of the hospital and onto the wrist...