July 18, 2024

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A House panel will investigate the handling of reproductive health data

A House panel will investigate the handling of reproductive health data

A Dwelling investigative committee is searching for aspects from specific organizations about how they deal with individual reproductive and sexual health and fitness information and facts in an work to bolster info privacy for abortion seekers as a lot more states ban the procedure.

Household Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and two other associates despatched letters to 10 details brokers and private health apps trying to find documentation about their procedures for amassing and advertising private reproductive well being facts.

The Supreme Court docket eradicated the constitutional appropriate to an abortion two months in the past, sparking new worries amongst privacy advocates around the probable misuse of data for these seeking abortions.

“The assortment of delicate knowledge could pose major threats to those people searching for reproductive treatment as properly as to companies of these care, not only by facilitating intrusive govt surveillance, but also by putting people today at risk of harassment, intimidation, and even violence,” Maloney wrote in the letter with Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Sara Jacobs of California.

“Geographic facts collected by cellular phones may perhaps be employed to locate men and women searching for care at clinics, and lookup and chat background referring to clinics or medication create electronic bread crumbs revealing curiosity in an abortion,” they included.

The lawmakers advised that profiteers in states that reward citizens who enforce the bans could concentrate on people today in search of abortion treatment “by acquiring location data from details brokers.”

The letters have been resolved to executives at 5 facts businesses, which include SafeGraph, Digital Envoy and Placer.ai. Yet another batch of letters was sent to executives of wellness applications that monitor fertility cycles, which include Flo Overall health, Glow and BioWink GmbH.

The letters questioned the providers to deliver paperwork by July 21.

A study published very last thirty day period by the peer-reviewed Journal of Healthcare Online Research indicated that 20 of the 23 commonly downloaded women’s wellbeing apps it examined shared person knowledge with third functions and that just over 50 {6f90f2fe98827f97fd05e0011472e53c8890931f9d0d5714295052b72b9b5161} asked for explicit consent from their buyers.

Eight states have currently banned abortion companies considering that the Supreme Court’s decision. Many others have imposed new constraints, with far more bans scheduled to consider influence in the coming months.

The congressional investigation also indicators endeavours by Democrats to protect obtain to facts that could be utilised for punitive functions in states in which abortions are unlawful.

In June, a Senate committee began considering a invoice released by Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, to supply an unique appropriate to have entry to personalized reproductive and sexual overall health information retained by controlled entities, like knowledge from third get-togethers, and to request its deletion.

Chloe Atkins contributed.