According to a report, The United States Federal Trade Commission wants doesn’t want Apple to use or collect health data without the consent of the user.
The HealthKit platform comes built in the latest Apple operating system, iOS 8, which allows the users to track and share various medical and health information such as exercise, diet and activity across a several devices and apps. Launching early next year, the Apple Watch will be equipped with GPS, accelerometer and a heart rate sensor. These features will allow the watch to track the user’s calories burned, steps taken, heart rate and the distance the user travelled.
The Federal Trade Commission is interested in how Apple will use the user’s health data.
Apple confirmed it has met with the Federal Trade Commission and discussed about its privacy and products. Representatives from Apple have assured the commission the company will not sell health data from users to advertisers and will not allow developers to do so either.
Apple spokesperson, Trudy Muller said:
“We designed HealthKit with privacy in mind,”
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act privacy rules do not cover most mobile health apps, unlike medical and health data given to healthcare providers which are covered by the rules.
A study conducted by the Federal Trade Commission in May revealed that many of the health app developers gather information about the user’s health and sell the data to third parties. The 12 developers subjected to the study were found to have shared the data gathered from users with 76 different companies including advertisers.
In August Apple has renewed its privacy rules in order to ensure that data collected through HealthKit would not be sold or used by developers for data mining purposes or advertising. Data gathered by the Apple Watch are encrypted and people who use it must give consent before developers can access information about their health.
Developers can’t use the health information collected from the Apple Watch “for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services.” App won’t be allowed to store health data on the cloud. Should an individual back up the phone using iTunes, the person will have to turn the backup encryption on or else information from HealthKit won’t be included in it.