Categories: Tech

The tech companies investigated for the management of health data on abortion

More updates on the issue of the right to abortion in the United States. Three House lawmakers are launching an investigation into the collection and sale of personal health data related to abortion by data intermediaries and cycle monitoring apps. In total, ten companies are investigated. And all calls to respond on the management of user data by next 21 July.

Right to abortion: tech company under investigation for the management of users’ personal data

Ten tech companies – between data broker and cycle monitoring App – are under investigation for the management of users’ health data. An action that responds perfectly to concerns that this information can be used by the authorities to criminalize those who appeal to the right to abortion. In particular, they would be the data broker to worry the legislators of the Chamber more. These, in fact, could purchase user data to provide them to the police, without having to go through any legal request. Among the companies investigated are SafeGraph, Digital Envoy, Pacer.ai, Gravy Analytics and Babel Street. And then again the Flo Health, Glow, BioWink, GP International and Digitalchemy Ventures cycle monitoring apps.

In recent weeks, some apps for the menstrual cycle and fertility have announced an “anonymous” mode which will guarantee the safety of those who use them. Yet this does not seem to be enough. “The collection of sensitive data could pose a serious threat to those seeking reproductive care and providers of such care, not only facilitating intrusive government surveillance, but also putting people at risk of harassment, intimidation and even violence.” So the legislators report. For this reason, they asked data brokers to provide information regarding their revenues from the sale of location data, and a list of buyers interested in information relating to abortion clinics.

On the other hand, the cycle monitoring apps requested “documents and communications regarding the actual or potential production” of data on the sexual health of users in response to a lawyer or a government. In short, technology companies have officially ended up in the crosshairs of lawmakers. And there is certainly no need to repeat why. The security and privacy of users could be in jeopardy, and right now the United States doesn’t seem to need that too. In any case, we are waiting to see what the companies will respond to.

Published by
Walker Ronnie

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