Prosecutors ask Apple to protect the data of women seeking reproductive health information

The intent is to prevent personal information from getting into the wrong hands.

Photo: Katopodis/Getty Images

The attorneys general of ten states of the country they asked the Apple company to protect the private information of consumers who seek information related to reproductive health and that it is in the applications available in its App Store, after the decision of the Supreme Court that repealed the right to abortion in June.

Prosecutors from Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Washington, North Carolina, Illinois, Vermont and Washington DC sent a letter this week to Apple CEO Tim Cook urging him to implement measures that improve the protection of such data and prevent people seeking or providing abortion services are subject to possible actions and harassment by law enforcement, whether private entities or individuals.

Likewise, they added that there are third-party applications in the Apple store that often do not comply with these same standards and protections for confidential data, according to a statement released by Connecticut prosecutor William Tong.

They warn in the letter addressed to Tim Cook that this gap in Apple’s protections threatens the privacy and security of App Store consumers and goes directly against the company’s publicly expressed commitment to protect user data.

The group of prosecutors urges Apple to require app developers to affirmatively certify or state in their privacy policies that they will take the proposed security measures, including deleting data that is not essential to the use of the application, including location history, search history and any other data related to consumers who may be searching, accessing or helping to provide reproductive health care.

The commitment must also include clear and visible notices about the potential for apps on the App Store to disclose reproductive health-related user data, which they require occurs only when there is a valid subpoena, search warrant or court order.

They also demand that apps collect reproductive health data or sync with users’ health data stored on Apple devices and implement at least the same privacy and security standards as the tech giant.

Prosecutors explain in the letter that deleting data related to reproductive health is important to protect consumers who often They unknowingly leave digital traces of their actions in that area.

In addition, they warn that it is not enough for Apple to protect the reproductive health data that it collects and stores, since the alleged commitment to privacy and consumer protection requires that the company requires the same vigilance to third-party apps that sync with Apple Health, as well as apps that collect reproductive health data from consumers.

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