Yonkers, NY – Consumer Reports along with 10 organizations issued a letter today urging five reproductive health app developers to respect the privacy rights of consumers and improve their privacy standards. These apps include BabyCenter, Clue, Flo, My Calendar, and Ovia.
These reproductive health apps are offered as an empowerment tool for consumers eager for agency over their health. Yet at the same time, many health apps do not have proper privacy standards in place, which can result in sensitive health data falling into the wrong hands, as found in a recent CR investigation.
“CR is deeply concerned about the lack of proper privacy standards built into these apps,” said Dena Mendelsohn, Senior Policy Counsel at Consumer Reports. “It’s true that we don’t have laws that require health apps to get your consent to collect, buy and sell your data. But given the highly personal and sensitive nature of the information, these companies should do better.”
This concern over how these companies handle user data is reflected in a CR petition that has amassed over 22,000 signatures. Consumers from around the country want improved privacy protections of their data and are calling on these health app companies to follow the same privacy laws that govern healthcare providers.
Respecting user privacy is a basic and achievable goal. A blueprint for doing so is available in the form of the Digital Standard, a set of benchmarks that companies can use to design digital products that are respectful of consumer privacy rights.
About Consumer Reports
Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit membership organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. For more than 80 years, CR has provided evidence-based product testing and ratings, rigorous research, hard-hitting investigative journalism, public education, and steadfast policy action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines, raising the voices of consumers.
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