Apple Updates Privacy Policy for Health and Fitness Apps

Apple Inc. has updated its privacy policy in advance of the impending release of Apple’s HealthKit SDK and Health app to prohibit the sale of your health and fitness data.

YouTube: Apple Keynote – HealthKit API and Health app

Health app will be iOS 8’s new hub for health and fitness data collected by third-party app developers and fitness-trackers and stored in a central and secure location on your iPhone or iPad. Health app will provide you with a single app to view and analyze all your health and fitness data stored on your iOS device. You decide what data is shared between each of your other health and fitness apps.  With the sharing of personal health and fitness data between apps it creates the potential for the data to be misused. As a result, Apple decided to update its privacy policy to avoid the potential misuse of data and related privacy issues.

Apple’s privacy policy now provides:

  • Developers may not use the HealthKit API unless the app is primarily designed to provide health and/or fitness services to the app’s user, and the health and/or fitness services are clearly evidenced in the apps marketing text and user interface.
  • Developers may not use the HealthKit API or information obtained using the HealthKit API for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services to the app’s user in connection with the developer’s app.
  • Developers cannot sell any user’s health and/or fitness information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers.
  • Developers may share users data with third parties for medical research purposes only with a users consent.

It is great to see Apple taking steps to avoid the misuse of the health and fitness data of its users in advance of the release of HealthKit API and the Health app — two products that promise to revolutionize the health and fitness world. Hopefully Apple’s revised privacy policy and the enforcement of its terms will be sufficient to protect iOS users personal data from misuse.

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