Samantha Cole reports:
A new study out of the University of Toronto, published in The BMJ on Wednesday, highlights privacy issues around health apps by examining how medicine management apps share personal user data. The researchers found that most of the apps they tested shared sensitive information like medical history and demographics with third parties.
The researchers examined 24 of the top-rated Android apps for health medicine management in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, including Ada, Lexicomp, Medscape, and Medicinewise. They found that 19 out of the 24 tested apps shared user data outside of the app, frequently to third-parties like Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, and AT&T. An app called “Pill Identifier and Drug List” shares data with the Department of Health and Human Services.
These entities could, in turn, share data to digital advertising companies, and a consumer credit reporting agency, the researchers found. While users often must agree to this type of data-sharing, it’s typically buried in legalese in apps’ terms of service.
I’m not surprised by the report but still, ugh.
Read more on Motherboard.