FTC Warned Companies That Misuse Location and Health Data

The recent landmark judgment overturning the Joe vs Wade result from 1973 has triggered nationwide protests from the public.

So to settle at least some of their concerns, Joe Biden directed FTC said it’ll pursue with full powers against any company, that’s found misusing the people’s sensitive data regarding health and location. Potential people for abortions are concerned that their location would be tracked by police for legal actions.

Legally Pursuing Against Data Exploiters

For the last couple of months, the United States has been in turmoil regarding citizens’ abortion rights. And a landmark judgment passed by the US Supreme Court (and signed by Joe Biden on July 8th) triggered the entire nation at once.

Overruling the past judgment, the US Supreme Court leaves the rights of abortions to concerned states, instead of people as their constitutional right. Thus, people are now feared that seeking an abortion is illegal (in many states) and aren’t willing to comply.

To settle at least some of their concerns, Joe Biden when signing the decree also directed FTC to strictly protect the citizens’ sensitive data, especially regarding abortion visits and other medical data.

This led FTC to warn companies and data brokers this week, where the regulator wrote it’s “committed to using the full scope of its legal authorities” to safeguard consumer privacy.

It said that services (apps) that track periods and fertility, and any product that collects health or location data could expose individuals to harm, particularly those seeking abortions. Thus, they need to have strict data protection and anonymizing policies.

We’ve already seen some big companies like Google favoring this by deleting such data immediately after clinical visits, so as to avoid sharing data when asked by law enforcement! And we may see more companies following this suite to protect user data in some form, regarding abortions.

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