NJ, other states urge Apple to protect data on reproductive health apps
New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin on Monday sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, co-signed by nine other attorneys general across the U.S., calling for the company to better ensure privacy on apps it offers that collect and store reproductive health data.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization overturned the right to an abortion guaranteed in Roe v. Wade, touching off worries among those who either seek or provide reproductive health care about potential action by law enforcement, according to the OAG press release.
Platkin said Apple "simply has not done enough to ensure that private reproductive health data collected and stored by apps will not be used to track, harass, or criminalize those seeking to exercise their reproductive freedoms."
The group of attorneys general is requesting that Apple update its privacy policies to include deleting data nonessential to app usage, including location and search history, more clearly communicating what data may be disclosed and under what circumstances, and requiring the apps or those that sync with them to implement the same privacy standards.
OAG said Apple has "long promoted privacy as one of its 'core values' on both the iOS platform and the App Store," but reproductive health apps "frequently fail to meet these same standards or to implement appropriate protections."
The attorneys general of California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington joined New Jersey in signing the letter.
Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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