Fitness Apps are the Rage, But are You Losing Health Data Privacy?

Fitness Apps are the Rage, But are You Losing Health Data Privacy?With Apple surging ahead with mobile healthcare and fitness-tracking applications, the widespread use of technology to help you stay fit is here to stay.
But consumers need to know that recent studies find more than a third of all apps are sharing – or selling – your health information with third parties which are not mentioned in their privacy policies.
“If most consumers knew what was really going on under the hood, they would be really scared about using those apps,” PRC Researcher Craig Lie Njie told Miami’s CBS affiliate station in a special report.
Craig Lie Njie, of the Privacy Rights Clearing House, told CBS4 that consumer health information is big business and the law surrounding health app data lacks clarity.
The data is often shared via unencrypted networks, potentially exposing sensitive and even embarrassing information.
Moreover, none of the data shared is protected under HIPPA laws. HIPAA is the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which was enacted to make it easier for people to secure their personal healthcare information. You can learn more about HIPAA through the Bradley University website.
The health data collected from these apps can leave your information up for sale to the highest bidder.
Here’s a possible outcome: Imagine if your employer or a potential date could easily find out how much you weigh or learn other embarrassing details about your health.
Currently, the data is primarily sold to advertisers and aggregators. But how far will this sharing of information go? Could it be possible that some day soon someone can google your name and finding your weight, or worse. Consumer advocates say this is a very plausible scenario.
And what if insurers or potential employers had access to your blood pressure, cholesterol, or that time of the month?

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