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Fertility App Fines $200,000 for Leaking Customer’s Health Data

The company that created the popular infertility treatment app Premom has announced to pay $200,000 in federal and state fines.

Fertility App Fines $200,000 for Leaking Customer’s Health Data

Source: Pixabay.com

The decision on fines was made after it became known that this company had been illegally transferring confidential information about the health status of customers to third parties for many years. The recipients of the personal data were Google and two companies based in China. The illegality, in this case, lies in the fact that the users of the application did not give consent to the transfer of information about their health.

The Federal Trade Commission, as well as the attorneys General of Connecticut, the District of Columbia, and Oregon announced that the application will be prohibited from transmitting personal health data for advertising purposes. Also, as part of the proceedings, it was decided that the owner of Premom will undertake to remove information from third-party systems that were transferred to third-party companies without the permission of users.

This settlement option is indicative from the point of view of a clear demonstration of how regulatory authorities act in the field of birth control and how they ensure the security of medical information after the decision of the US Supreme Court on the abolition of federal protection of abortions, adopted last year.

The FTC complaint against Easy Healthcare, the parent company of Premom, states that during the process of unauthorized information exchange, the personal data of hundreds of thousands of users of the application were transferred. This happened between 2018 and 2020. The company ignored a federal regulation known as the Health Violations Notification Rule.

The complaint also pays special attention to the fact that the firm not only violated the requirements of state regulations but also acted contrary to its privacy policy, which states that third-party companies are allowed to transfer only unidentifiable data.

The complaint also alleges that Premom allegedly shared location information and device identifiers — Wi—Fi network names and equipment identifiers – with two Chinese data analysis companies, Jiguang and Umeng. This information, as stated by the FTC, could be used to identify users of the application and disclose to third parties data about people who are interested in infertility treatment.

After the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, legislative initiatives aimed at preventing abortion practices increased the risk that infertility treatment applications, search engines, and other technology platforms will be forced to transfer the personal information of clients as part of a potentially possible prosecution of those who are trying to find ways to circumvent the regulatory framework to termination of pregnancy.

The Attorney General of the District of Columbia, Brian Schwalb, says that the protection of medical information is of particular importance against the background of attacks on reproductive rights across the country.

Samuel Levin, director of the FTC’s consumer protection Bureau, said the agency would actively discourage attempts to violate the principle of privacy. He stated that Premom did not keep its promises and created a situation of increased danger for consumer privacy.

As we have reported earlier, U.S. Fines Wells Fargo Nearly $100 Million.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.