May 232022
 May 23, 2022  Posted by  Breaches, Featured News, Govt, Healthcare, Surveillance, U.S.

Julia Angwin writes:

Hello, friends,

When a draft of a Supreme Court opinion that could overturn U.S. abortion rights leaked to the press earlier this month, I started to panic about my 17-year-old daughter’s future.

Although we live in New York, which is not one of the 26 states that are certain or likely to ban abortion if the law is overturned, I still can’t help but worry about my daughter’s ability to control what happens to her own body.

Even more troubling are laws like the one passed in Texas last year that not only ban nearly all abortions but create incentives for individuals to act as bounty hunters exposing and suing those who seek abortions.

Angwin had a conversation with Laura Lazaro Cabrera, legal officer at Privacy International, about the issues.  Here’s an excerpt from their conversation:

Angwin: People have said everyone should delete their digital health apps, especially pregnancy and fertility ones. Do you have concerns about these apps?

Lazaro Cabrera: If you use a period-tracking app, and you share what could be regarded in hindsight as incriminating data, then there is very little a company can do to refuse turning over that data when it is requested by law enforcement in legally permissible ways.

I’d like to remind people that the deletion of an app does not necessarily mean the erasure of the data. More often than not, the user data will be retained for a period of time, after the last engagement with the app unless otherwise requested. If people are worried, and many of them will be, the first step should be to check what needs to be done to have that data erased. This is usually in the privacy policy, but at the very least, it will require someone to send an email explicitly asking for the data to be erased. In the U.S., privacy laws rarely guarantee the right of erasure of one’s personal data.

Read more at The Markup.

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