“The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is seeking assurances from Apple Inc. that it will prevent sensitive health data collected by its upcoming smartwatch and other mobile devices from being used without owners’ consent, two sources told Reuters,” Christina Farr and Diane Bartz report for Reuters. “The two people, both familiar with the FTC’s thinking, said Apple representatives have met on multiple occasions with agency officials in recent months, to stress that it will not sell its users’ health data to third-party entities such as marketers or allow third-party developers to do so. Apple said it works closely with regulators around the world, including the FTC, to describe built-in data protections for its services. ‘We’ve been very encouraged by their support,’ Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller told Reuters. Apple developed its new HealthKit platform, which manages data from mobile health apps, to give consumers control over how their information is used and shared. ‘We designed HealthKit with privacy in mind,’ said Muller.”
“The FTC is paying particularly close attention to Apple’s upcoming smartwatch, which can track a user’s pulse and potentially store health-related information, the two sources said,” Farr and Bartz report. “Apple is turning to a team of outside experts, including health data protection lawyer Marcy Wilder, to respond on health issues, said one of the sources and another person familiar with the matter.”
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