Study. Popular women’s health care applications do not meet basic privacy and security standards

Many popular women’s health applications do not meet basic data privacy and security standards. according to the published review SMILE.

The study analyzed 23 of the highest-rated femtech apps on Apple’s App Store, the most downloaded on Google Play, on data privacy, data sharing, and security scores by two independent reviewers. Sixteen of the appendixes focused on fertility, relapse, and pregnancy, while others focused on areas such as breast and lung cancer, mental health, exercise, and abortion.

The researchers found that all of the attachments included behavioral tracing, with և 14 allowing tracing back to location. Meanwhile, only 16 showed a privacy policy, and 12 asked users for their consent. Three of the applications started collecting data before reaching an agreement. Thirteen provided users with data security information.

The review also noted that 20 of the 23 applications share data with third parties, while researchers were unable to determine the data exchange policy of the last three.

“Many of the mHealth apps on the market have poor standards of data privacy, sharing and security. “Although there are regulations, such as the European Union General Data Protection Regulation, the current practice does not follow them,” the study authors wrote. “Failure of mHealth applications of women to comply with basic data privacy, sharing and security standards is not ethically or legally acceptable.”

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

The researchers argued that women’s health supplements in particular may contain private data that could be obtained from young women, adolescents and children.

“Given the sensitive nature of women’s health, women’s mHealth applications should use more privacy than the bad practices revealed in this study. “Moreover, some women ‘s mHealth applications have collected not only women’ s sensitive data, but also information about children and infants,” they wrote. “These observations demonstrate the complexity of standard data privacy and compliance practices.”

BIGGER TREND

Following a draft Supreme Court ruling that would overturn Ron v. Wade leaked earlier this monthSome privacy and security experts have caused fears that data from applications following the period can be used to determine if a user has had an abortion.

Privacy concerns have been raised in the past for femtech applications. Popular period և after fertility Flo Flo application that: raised $ 50 million with B Series funding last year, settled with the Federal Trade Commission in January 2021 in connection with the company’s complaint General user information With analytics services on Facebook և Marketing և Google:.

Meanwhile, femtech is still a a small portion of total digital health funding, the market has grown. In itself 1st quarter investment reportRock Health noted that reproductive և maternal health startups appeared in the top six for clinical attention for the first time since 2019, amounting to $ 424 million.

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