How We Handle Your Sensitive Data
Advice From Our General Counsel, Rachael Kierych
As the age-old saying goes, new year, new you! No matter what your resolution is this year, whether it’s weight loss, focusing on your mental health, or improving your sex life, there will certainly be an app that can help along the way. While these products have revolutionized the way people monitor and track their well-being, the collection of sensitive health-related data leaves some users wondering, what happens to my data once it is logged? Is this sensitive health information actually private? What protections do I have to the sharing of my data, if any?
Despite these privacy concerns, digital health tech does offer services that are extremely valuable to consumers—e.g., providing users with health-related information when other healthcare services may be unavailable and allowing users to take a more proactive role in managing their health. Research has shown that users are more candid when interacting with technology rather than people, potentially making app data more reliable than traditional medical records. The constant nature of the data collection results in apps collecting more—and sometimes better quality— information than what is obtained through infrequent medical encounters. Thus, digital health tech, used in conjunction with wearables, shows great promise to support health and related decision-making.
Taking all of this into consideration, you might be finding yourself in a quandary: on the one hand health apps are an incredibly easy way to track health and self-improvement, but on the other, some sensitive information (e.g. menstrual cycle data, your mood, food/alcohol consumption) might not be as private as you think. What can you do to protect your data without deleting your health apps and how can this predicament be addressed?
With that peace of mind, stay confident, and stay firm. Happy New Year from your friends at FirmTech.Rachael Kierych, General Counsel, FirmTech