Starting with the leak in May of the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, legalizing a woman’s right to an abortion, some legislators are taking action to try and prevent tech companies from selling users’ health data. The concern is that this data could be used in some states with strict anti-abortion laws to attempt to prosecute women seeking abortion care.
Ban data brokers from selling or transferring location data and health data and require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enact rules to implement the law within 180 days, while making exceptions for HIPAA-compliant activities, protected First Amendment speech, and other approved health or location data disclosures
Ensure vigorous enforcement of the bill’s provisions by empowering the FTC, state attorneys general, and injured persons to sue to enforce the provisions of the law
Provide $1 billion in funding to the FTC over the next decade to carry out its work, including the enforcement of this law*
Why This Matters
In its recent Q1 2022 Privacy on Family Planning Apps Report, Pixalate found that among 1.7k apps classified as “family planning” - meaning apps with the words “pregnancy” or “period” in the title - across the Google Play and Apple App stores:
28% of family planning apps on Apple request access to the user’s location while the app is in use, and 13% request access even when the app isn’t being used
Over 10% of the apps share the user’s location with advertisers and/or data brokers
These findings raise the question of whether this data should require additional protections, like most medical data under HIPAA in the U.S. Protecting the data of consumers, especially protected data like health records and sensitive data like location, should be a top priority for Congress.
Disclaimer: The content of this page reflects Pixalate’s opinions with respect to the factors that Pixalate believes can be useful to the digital media industry. Any proprietary data shared is grounded in Pixalate’s proprietary technology and analytics, which Pixalate is continuously evaluating and updating. Any references to outside sources should not be construed as endorsements. Pixalate’s opinions are just that - opinion, not facts or guarantees.
Per the MRC,
“'Fraud' is not intended to represent fraud as defined in various laws, statutes and ordinances or as conventionally used in U.S. Court or other
legal proceedings, but rather a custom definition strictly for advertising measurement purposes. Also per the MRC,
“‘Invalid Traffic’ is defined generally as traffic
that does not meet certain ad serving quality or completeness criteria, or otherwise does not represent legitimate ad traffic that should be included in measurement counts.
Among the reasons why ad traffic may be deemed invalid is it is a result of non-human traffic (spiders, bots, etc.), or activity designed to produce fraudulent traffic.”