The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is questioning the security of data being stored by Apple’s HealthKit. As Apple integrates health-related features into its mobile devices and its upcoming Apple Watch, the FTC is looking for assurances from the company that the software platform will prevent data being shared without end users' consent, Reuters reported.
Apple has reportedly met with the FTC multiple times to reaffirm that the company would not sell or allow third-party app developers to sell users’ health data. Apple’s current App Store guidelines currently prohibit such usage and prevent apps from storing any health data in iCloud. “Apps that share user data acquired via the HealthKit API with third parties without user consent will be rejected,” an excerpt from Apple’s HealthKit guidelines reads.
The FTC is particularly eyeing the upcoming Apple Watch, which has the ability to track a user’s pulse and store other health-related data, according to unnamed sources speaking to Reuters. The Apple Watch, iPhone and their integration of HealthKit are part of a larger push from the company in recent months to increase its presence in health care-related functions.
As more health-related consumer technologies have emerged in the marketplace, the FTC has shown concern about how the devices and the companies behind them would protect user health data from leaking out to unauthorized sources. The commission earlier this year found that 12 health and fitness apps it had examined shared their data with 76 third parties, according to Ad Age.