US state attorneys general urge Apple to better protect reproductive health data
A multistate coalition of ten US state attorney generals issued a letter to Apple to take action to better protect consumers’ private reproductive health information stored in third-party apps hosted on Apple’s App Store.
Ten US state attorneys generals issued a letter to Apple to take action to better protect reproductive health information. In response to the US Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which protected the constitutional right to abortion, at least 14 states have tightened restrictions on, or criminalised, abortion. The coalition of attorneys general expressed concerns in the letter that users’ private information stored in third-party apps could be weaponised against individuals seeking or providing abortions. Against this background, the attorneys general urged Apple to protect reproductive health data from being wrongfully exploited by requiring app developers whose apps are hosted on the App Store to either certify to Apple or include the following measures in their privacy policies:
– Delete data that is not essential for the use of the app, including location history, search history, and any other data of consumers who may be seeking, accessing, or assisting reproductive healthcare providers;
– Provide notices on the potential for App Store applications to disclose third-party user data related to reproductive healthcare, and require that apps do so only when required by a valid subpoena, search warrant, or court order;
– For apps that collect reproductive health data, implement at least the same privacy policies as Apple concerning that data.