FTC says it’ll high quality digital well being corporations that do not disclose knowledge breaches

With knowledge breaches on the rise, the FTC is trying to make well being apps extra accountable for telling sufferers when their knowledge has been uncovered.

The FTC launched a brand new assertion specifying that each one well being apps that seize delicate affected person info notify customers, the fee itself and in some instances the media when a safety breach has compromised identifiable well being knowledge. If the corporate fails to take action it may face a high quality of $43,792 per day of violation. 

The ruling is definitely greater than ten years previous, however in line with the FTC assertion, it was by no means enforced and was misunderstood by many corporations. The ruling consists of distributors of private well being data (PHR) and PHR-related capabilities, which draw info from a number of sources. 

This new assertion specifies that apps which draw info from a number of shops (i.e. ones that pull in wearable knowledge by an API and in addition collects consumer enter) are actually topic to this ruling. The fee mentioned that apps that “observe ailments, diagnoses, therapy, drugs, health, fertility, sleep, psychological well being, weight loss program and different very important areas.”


It’s no secret that digital well being apps are on the rise within the US. A report by IQVIA discovered that there are actually greater than 350,000 digital well being apps accessible to shoppers. In 2020 alone there have been greater than 90,000 new apps launched to the market.

The FTC is warning that as apps grow to be extra plentiful, shopper knowledge stays a precedence. 

“As many People flip to apps and different applied sciences to trace ailments, diagnoses, therapy, drugs, health, fertility, sleep, psychological well being, weight loss program and different very important areas, this Rule is extra essential than ever. Companies providing these providers ought to take acceptable care to safe and shield shopper knowledge,” the fee wrote.


Simply final week information broke {that a} non-password-protected database uncovered greater than 61 million data containing knowledge from health trackers and wearables. A few of the greatest names in well being tech have been a part of the breach, together with Fitbit and Apple Healthkit. 

In 2020, Walgreens introduced that its app had an error, which led to the leak of buyer’s safe messages. 

Throughout the pond, London-based digital well being firm Babylon Well being introduced {that a} knowledge breach occurred that allowed a affected person to entry recordings of one other’s affected person’s session by the GP at Hand app.

On the entire, well being knowledge breaches are on the rise, in line with a report by danger safety providers vendor Constella Intelligence.

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