FTC seeks assurances from Apple on health data privacy

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
According to a report on Thursday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is asking Apple about its handling of sensitive health data gathered and stored by the company's new iOS 8 HealthKit framework, especially as it applies to possible dissemination to third parties like advertisers.



Citing sources familiar with the matter, Reuters reports the FTC is looking to ensure health data processed by HealthKit and the forthcoming Apple Watch will remain under user control, a major concern given the nature of the data being collected.

Apple has been working with various governmental oversight bodies around the world, including the FTC, to explain these very protections, spokesman Trudy Muller said. She further added that Apple "designed HealthKit with privacy in mind."

While there is no indication that the FTC will launch a formal investigation into the matter, Apple is said to be preparing for the possibility. Sources claim the company has enlisted the aid of health data protection lawyer Marcy Wilder and is mulling the idea of appointing a designated "health privacy czar" to deal with future concerns.

In August, Apple outlined restrictions imposed on developers tapping into the HealthKit API. Under the license, developers may "not sell an end-user's health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers," and are restricted from using gathered data "for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services."

Apple also discussed "mobile medical applications" with the Food and Drug Administration in a series of private meetings dating back to 2013. The FDA said Apple plans to work closely with the agency on future product development to avoid surprise regulatory slowdowns.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24

    “Screw you. We’re better at security than you’ll ever be.” – Apple

  • Reply 2 of 24
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?
  • Reply 3 of 24
    rogifan wrote: »
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?

    No, because their users aren't guaranteed privacy. ;)
  • Reply 4 of 24
    I was going to ask the same thing. No one is questioning Samscum or Google given the staggering amount of malware associated with android.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,164member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?



    No. Only Apple is not to be trusted. Microsoft, Google, Samsung are all as pure as the newly driven snow when it comes to security. Google’s motto “Do no evil” is good enough for the FTC. It’s Apple that needs to be watched and scrutinized constantly.

  • Reply 6 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    rogifan wrote: »
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?

    Yes they are, at least Google Android. No specific mention of MS. The AI article just neglected to mention it.

    Quote:
    The agency has made it a priority to examine whether mobile health developers marketing apps on Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms are taking precautions to safeguard user privacy, the sources said.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

     



     Google’s motto “Do no evil” is good enough for the FTC. It’s Apple that needs to be watched and scrutinized constantly.


     

    I heard Larry finally admitted they needed a new motto.

  • Reply 8 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    I heard Larry finally admitted they needed a new motto.

    Yep, it's now "Do no evil ... oops!"
  • Reply 9 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    Yes they are, at least Google Android. No specific mention of MS. The AI article just neglected to mention it.

    Quote:
    The agency has made it a priority to examine whether mobile health developers marketing apps on Apple's iOS and Google's Android platforms are taking precautions to safeguard user privacy, the sources said.

    MS ....? Maybe they only worry about those with >2% mobile market share.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,359member
    rogifan wrote: »
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?

    I think this 'cloud based' marketing terminology is getting over used by the media and masses. They are just servers! When did any on line database not use servers?
  • Reply 11 of 24
    rogifan wrote: »
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?

    …or FitBit, MS, Samsung, and everyone else that does any sort of health-based monitoring.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    I heard Larry finally admitted they needed a new motto.

    Yep, it's now "Do no evil ... oops!"


    "Do Know Evil"

    Not a new motto... The same motto with proper spelling.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    The FTC is concerned about our privacy while the NSA and US Marshals 'dirtbox' us legally.
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Wetlander View Post



    The FTC is concerned about our privacy while the NSA and US Marshals 'dirtbox' us legally.



    That was my thoughts as well. The same government not afraid of spying on it's citizens is worried about those same citizens willingly putting their trust in a private company that has a pretty good record of keeping information private?

  • Reply 15 of 24
    lkrupp wrote: »
    rogifan wrote: »
    So are they questioning Google and Microsoft as well specially considering they are cloud based?


    No. Only Apple is not to be trusted. Microsoft, Google, Samsung are all as pure as the newly driven snow when it comes to security. Google’s motto “Do no evil” is good enough for the FTC. It’s Apple that needs to be watched and scrutinized constantly.

    You may be right.

    I think the FTC keep a wary eye on companies other than Apple, too, though.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    @Benjamin Frost: What a worthless, waffling worm-like comment. So you want to agree with both points of view, which contradict each other? With nothing more than a "you may be right" and an "I think though"?

    Keep your vacuous logorrhea to yourself. Better yet, go away.
  • Reply 17 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacBook Pro View Post

    "Do Know Evil"

    Not a new motto... The same motto with proper spelling.

     

    Or maybe...No, do evil!

    Back to the article...Wasn't the DoJ just bitching about Apple's security changes making the devices too secure? Which is it?
  • Reply 18 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

    @Benjamin Frost: What a worthless, waffling worm-like comment. So you want to agree with both points of view, which contradict each other? With nothing more than a "you may be right" and an "I think though"?



    Keep your vacuous logorrhea to yourself. Better yet, go away.

     

    He acknowledged that one possibility may be correct without expressing agreement or disagreement. Then he stated another possibility that he seems to favor. That's how grown-ups have a discussion.

    You add nothing to the discussion by making a personal attack.
  • Reply 19 of 24
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 20,918member
    What you might think is private health information that is not shared may not be accurate. Have a read thru this, it's an eye-opener.
    http://patientprivacyrights.org/basic-health-privacy-faqs/
  • Reply 20 of 24
    flaneurflaneur Posts: 4,511member
    <div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/183411/ftc-seeks-assurances-from-apple-on-health-data-privacy#post_2639298" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span><div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Flaneur</strong> <a href="/t/183411/ftc-seeks-assurances-from-apple-on-health-data-privacy#post_2639298"><img src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" class="inlineimg" alt="View Post"/></a><br/><br/>@Benjamin Frost: What a worthless, waffling worm-like comment. So you want to agree with both points of view, which contradict each other? With nothing more than a "you may be right" and an "I think though"?<br />
    <br />
    Keep your vacuous logorrhea to yourself. Better yet, go away.</div></div><p> </p>
    He acknowledged that one possibility may be correct without expressing agreement or disagreement. Then he stated another possibility that he seems to favor. That's how grown-ups have a discussion.

    You add nothing to the discussion by making a personal attack.

    He's on my shitlist for real this time, after the following post in another thread:

    http://forums.appleinsider.com/t/183399/apple-watch-chip-suppliers-rumored-to-start-production-soon-orders-at-30m-to-40m-units/80#post_2639076

    Sorry you have to care about defending this worthless babble. Almost 5000 posts in a single year, nearly all of them a waste of our time, or worse.
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