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New privacy risk with popular health apps

Clinicians and consumers warned of privacy risks

Source: University of Sydney

Researchers call for greater regulation and transparency as analysis of medicines-related apps found most directly shared user data, including sensitive health data, with third parties, posing an unprecedented privacy risk.

  • Mobile health apps are a booming market targeted at both patients and health professionals. Medicines-related apps help patients track their prescriptions and remember to take their pills.

  • They also provide drug information to help clinicians prescribe and administer medications.

  • However these apps also pose unprecedented risk to consumers' privacy given their ability to collect user data, including sensitive information that is highly valuable to commercial interests, new research demonstrates.

The researchers found sharing of user data by medicines-related apps is routine but far from transparent, and also identified a small number of commercial entities with the ability to aggregate and potentially re-identify user data


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