Just as search engines must employ consumer privacy safeguards when it comes to consumer search habits related to health conditions, concerns arise with the personal information gathered by mobile apps and their third-party advertisers.
This is an area that is not yet fully regulated, but Apple for example has made the decision to advise app developers to implement consumers privacy safeguards.
According to a revised iOS developer license agreement viewed by the Guardian, developers who want to use HealthKit’s application programming interface ”must not sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit APIs to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers”. Also: “Your application must not access the HealthKit APIs unless it is primarily designed to provide health and/or fitness services, and this usage is clearly evident in your marketing text and user interface.”
While it is essential for consumers to read the terms and conditions of the apps they download, many do not realize is that most app developers fail to notify consumers when their terms and conditions change.
With a multitude of apps that focus on health and wellness by tracking vital signs, calories, diet, and exercise, the vast majority of consumers do not realize just how much private data is gathered.
Apple is expected to bar any app developers who violate these terms, or who sell health related consumer information to advertisers. For a closer look, check out the complete lowdown from CIO.