House lawmakers investigate how some tech companies will handle health data related to abortions
They are seeking information from five data brokerage firms and five health-tracking app companies about their collection, retention and sale of personal health data, according to letters sent Thursday evening by Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Raja Krishnamoorthi, chairman and member of House Oversight. Committee, with Representative Sara Jacobs. The companies have until July 21 to respond, according to the letters, which were viewed by CNN Business.
Companies contacted by lawmakers include data brokerage firms SafeGraph, Digital Envoy, Pacer.ai, Gravy Analytics and Babel Street, as well as health tracking app operators Flo Health, Glow, BioWink, GP International and Digitalchemy Ventures. In recent weeks, some period and fertility tracking apps, including Flo, have announced an “anonymous” mode that they say will help keep users safe.
In the letters, lawmakers asked data brokers, for example, for information about their income from the sale of location data and a list of buyers of information about family planning clinics or medical services. abortion. They also asked health-tracking apps for “documents and communications regarding the actual or potential production” of personal reproductive or sexual health data, either voluntarily or in response to a legal request, as well as communications regarding such data with state and local governments.
“The collection of sensitive data could pose serious threats to those seeking reproductive care as well as the providers of that care, not only by facilitating intrusive government surveillance, but also by putting individuals at risk of harassment, intimidation and even violence,” the lawmakers wrote.