privacy

By Dave Muoio 04:38 pm July 31, 2020
Google has posted an update on Exposure Notifications – their system-level framework for COVID-19 contact tracing developed in tandem with Apple – revealing that the tools have been incorporated into digital contact-tracing apps launched in 16 countries. Further, 20 U.S. states and territories are "exploring apps" based on the system, according to Google, the first set of which are expected to go...
By Dave Muoio 02:52 pm July 21, 2020
Despite very public messaging that the Bluetooth contact-tracing tools for COVID-19 developed by Google and Apple would not track users' locations, its implementation within Android operating systems still collects GPS data that Google could use to determine the user's location, The New York Times reports. The issue is driven by the operating system's device location setting, which must be...
By Ahmed El Sherif 09:00 am June 19, 2020
Bahrain and Kuwait are using their COVID-19 contact tracing apps as mass surveillance tools, it has emerged. According to a new report released by Amnesty International, the two Gulf states, along with Norway, have released “some of the most invasive COVID-19 contact tracing apps around the world, putting the privacy and security of hundreds of thousands of people at risk.” In its investigation,...
By Sara Mageit 04:06 am June 19, 2020
UK CONTACT TRACING APP SWITCH In a major U-turn, the UK is switching from its existing centralised contact tracing app to the technology provided by Google and Apple. At the Downing Street briefing, health secretary, Matt Hancock said the new app is months from being ready however said the government would not “put a date” on when the app will be launched. In a joint statement from Baroness Dido...

(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

By Laura Lovett 03:12 pm June 8, 2020
Scores of startups, health systems and even governments have scrambled to address COVID-19 by creating new digital tools for patients. However, these tools may have some gaps when it comes to securing users' privacy data, according to a report by newly formed group the International Digital Accountability Council (IDAC).  The organization, which is made up of lawyers, technologists and privacy...
By Dave Muoio 02:04 pm June 2, 2020
A large portion of COVID-19 apps available in the Google Play Store ask users for advanced access permissions, but very few indicate to users that collected data will be made anonymous and secured, according to an analysis of 50 such apps published recently in Nature Medicine. The investigation – conducted by two researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Illinois...
By MobiHealthNews 04:52 pm April 10, 2020
Even before today's big announcement from Apple and Google, it was clear that phone-based contact tracking was going to be an important weapon in the war against COVID-19. But might that weapon be a double-edged sword? In today's HIMSSCast, host Jonah Comstock is joined by the MobiHealthNews team – Managing Editor Laura Lovett and Associate Editor Dave Muoio – to discuss the various companies,...
By Dave Muoio 03:13 pm April 6, 2020
Google is taking its coronavirus support efforts one step further with the launch of its COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports web tool late last week. Similar to the way Google Maps displays whether certain businesses or public places are busy at certain times of day, the resource aggregates anonymized location tracking data from mobile devices to identify large-scale behavior trends. The end...
By Laura Lovett 03:36 pm March 2, 2020
In mid-January an error in the Walgreens app led to the leak of customers' secure messages. Specifically, the error allowed customers to see each other's information, including personal data such as names and prescription drug information.  The company announced the breach late last week, assuring customers that following the breach it disabled the message viewing feature in the app “to prevent...
By Anish Sebastian 11:50 am January 3, 2020
About the author: Anish Sebastian co-founded Babyscripts in 2013, which has partnered with dozens of health systems for its data-centric model in prenatal care. As the CEO of the startup, Anish has focused his efforts on product and software development, as well as evidence-based validation of their product. Prior to this, he founded a research analytics startup and served as a senior tech...