May 25, 2024

Existinglaw

Law for politics

Federal patient privacy law does not cover most period-tracking apps

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Following the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, advocates for privacy and reproductive health have expressed fears that data from period-tracking apps could be used to find people who’ve had abortions.

They have a point. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the federal patient privacy law known as HIPAA, does not apply to most apps that track menstrual cycles, just as it doesn’t apply to many health care apps and at-home test kits.

In 2015, ProPublica reported how HIPAA, passed in 1996, has not kept up with changes in technology and does not cover at-home paternity tests, fitness trackers or health apps.

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