Is your iPhone giving out your private medical information?

How your phone could sell you out to Big Pharma

It’s just what the hacker…or drug company…or insurance company ordered.

In fact, all the very personal data the Apple HealthKit apps are busy crunching — and sharing — are what a lot of companies — and crooks — would like to order.

It’s your most personal information — name, birthdate, any drugs you’re taking, medical conditions, what you eat, when you eat, your heart rate, body measurements…and the list goes on.

And now just about anyone will be able to access it — with your implied blessing.

Apple says (of course) that all this information, which is worth billions, is safe. That it won’t be shared unless you say so. And that your data will be scrambled, or encrypted — on your phone and if it’s sent to the “cloud.”

Safe, really? Like how our credit card information was safe at Target, Michael’s, Home Depot…

To see how truly crazy the promise of privacy is, you have to see how it works.

The first part is called “HealthKit.” But it’s more like a big data bank that’s always collecting information in the background on your iPhone.

The part you’ll see on the screen is called “Health,” and it comes already loaded on your new iPhone. It’s a pink heart in one of the icons on the home screen.

Health can do all sorts of things depending on the apps you download. Those apps can track — and share — things like your activities, blood sugar, food intake, sleep and weight.

Add the Apple Watch to that, and now your iPhone will also monitor your heart rate and movements (even tracking you on your phone’s GPS!). All that data gets collected and sent to HealthKit, too.

And here’s the scary part.

We have to 100 percent trust that all of those apps that are “watching” us every minute of every day keep all our information secret.

And even the Apple “rules” for those app developers only say that the data collected won’t be used for purposes other than “improving health, medical, and fitness management, or for the purpose of medical research.”

Wow, that’s a pretty big loophole. Especially the one about “medical research.”

Since most of these apps are free, there must be some way that developers are making money on them. “Medical research” and “improving health” sound like good ones!

And Apple itself will certainly find a way to cash in on this treasure chest of information it’s collecting — if it hasn’t already. One of its partners in this is Epic, which is a big electronic medical records company.

With all the surveillance cameras around and electronic information about us that’s collected everywhere, who would have believed that the biggest threat to our privacy would come from our own phone?

Looks like this Apple-a-day keeps the doctor — in business…

Sources:
“Expert: Apple’s health push poses big privacy challenges” James Rogers, September 16, 2014, Fox News, foxnews.com