The FTC is closing out 2022 with additional guidance for mobile health app developers signaling its continued interest in this industry. Since 2021, we have seen several steps from the agency demonstrating a focus on companies that collect health information but may not be a covered entity or business associate under HIPAA. This includes publishing additional resources, releasing commentary broadly interpreting the FTC’s Health Breach Notification Rule, and enforcement activity. Most recently, the FTC and other key regulators updated its “Mobile Health App Interactive Tool”.
Continue Reading Google’s Privacy “Data Safety” Form Is Now Available
Apple has issued new guidelines for apps that let people create accounts. The guidelines will require these apps to give people a way to delete their accounts. This requirement is broader than CCPA and GDPR deletion rights, as it applies to all users (not just those from specific territories). The requirements go into effect for submissions starting January 31, 2022.
Continue Reading Apple To Require Ability to Delete Accounts In-App
Google recently announced that beginning next year it will require Android mobile apps to provide privacy disclosures. These disclosures will live in a new “safety section” in Google Play. The requirements include disclosing:
- What information the app collects and how information is used;
- How the app protects information and if it uses encryption;
- If information is shared and if users have a choice about sharing;
- If users can request data deletion; and
- If the disclosures made in the safety section have been verified by an independent third party.
The FTC recently settled with Flo Health, Inc., a popular fertility-tracking app, based on promises made about how health data would be shared. In its complaint, the FTC alleged that while Flo promised to keep users’ health data private and only use it to provide the app’s services to users, in fact, health information of over 100 million users was being shared with popular third party companies. Namely, third parties who provided marketing and analytics services to the app.
Continue Reading FTC Settles with Fertility Tracking App For Alleged Deceptive Data Sharing Practices
The FTC recently settled with the mobile phone company BLU Products, Inc., over allegations that the company was letting one of its vendors pull extensive and detailed personal information off of users’ phones. According to the FTC, BLU phones were pre-loaded with firmware updating tools made by ADUPS Technology. ADUPS, through its software, was then able to gain full administrative control of phones, according to the FTC complaint. Indeed, the FTC alleged that the software transmitted to ADUPS, without users knowledge, full content of text messages, real-time cell tower location data, contact lists, call logs, and lists of applications installed on phones. This became public in November 2016, and BLU assured consumers on its website that this “unexpected” data collection practices had stopped. According to the FTC, though, older devices still had this software.
Continue Reading FTC Outlines Expected Privacy Program Elements in BLU Settlement