Fertility monitoring app Premom, owned by Straightforward Healthcare, got here below fireplace by the Federal Trade Commission, which alleged the corporate shared shoppers’ well being knowledge with third events like Google, AppsFlyer and two China-based analytics and advertising and marketing companies for promoting functions with out customers’ consent.
Premom is a free app that provides fertility monitoring instruments, together with interval and ovulation monitoring. The corporate additionally sells ovulation check kits.
The FTC’s investigation discovered the corporate shared customers’ private well being info with third events, similar to identifiable location and well being info and actions on the app associated to customers’ fertility, intervals and being pregnant.
In response to the Fee, the corporate didn’t speak in confidence to customers that it will share their well being info whereas deceiving customers about its data-sharing practices. The FTC additionally claims the corporate violated the Well being Breach Notification Rule, which requires corporations gathering private well being info to inform customers and the federal government of a knowledge breach by failing to tell customers of its practices.
Premom was instructed to chorus from sharing well being info with third events for promoting functions or different functions with out customers’ consent, put in place a complete privateness and safety program to guard customers’ data and inform the third events to delete the data collected with out customers’ permission.
Straightforward Healthcare was ordered to pay a $200,000 settlement price and is barred from sharing customers’ knowledge for promoting functions and with third events with out customers’ consent.
“Premom broke its guarantees and compromised shoppers’ privateness,” Samuel Levine, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Shopper Safety, said in a statement. “We’ll vigorously implement the Well being Breach Notification Rule to defend client’s well being knowledge from exploitation. Corporations accumulating this info needs to be conscious that the FTC is not going to tolerate well being privateness abuses.”
THE LARGER TREND
After Roe v. Wade was overturned, some argued that private knowledge might be used towards individuals who might have sought an abortion.
Late final 12 months, ten state attorneys normal sent a letter to Apple urging the tech big so as to add new protections for reproductive well being knowledge contained in third-party apps hosted on the App Retailer.
The Federal Commerce Fee has been cracking down on corporations for his or her data-sharing practices.
In February, the FTC alleged drug-cost and telehealth platform GoodRx shared consumers’ personal health information with third events like Google and Fb for promoting functions.
The company additionally stated GoodRx allowed third events to make use of that knowledge for their very own inside functions, misrepresented its HIPAA compliance and didn’t set insurance policies on the way it ought to defend its customers’ private well being info.
The corporate agreed to pay a $1.5 million tremendous to settle the case however admitted no wrongdoing.