As Apple has increased its push into the heath industry, it has also started increasing its focus on user privacy. A new report from NPR dives into Apple’s focus on privacy as it relates to health, with Tim Cook calling privacy a “key part” of health data.
Ecobee HomeKit Thermostat
Speaking to NPR, Cook says that Apple has avoided acquiring user data for advertisement purposes. This, he believes, is one of the reasons users trust Apple and are willing to use its Health app and accompanying features:
In an interview with NPR, Cook says acquiring user data to sell ads is something his company has avoided. “People will look at this and feel that they can trust Apple,” he says. “That’s a key part of anyone that you’re working with on your health.”
Further, he points out that Apple’s public stance on privacy isn’t simply for the sake of marketing. Instead, Tim Cook believes that a focus on privacy is a requirement when it comes to health data:
“It’s not the way we look at it in terms of advantages,” he says. “The reality is that I know for me, I want to do business with people that have my health data, people that I deeply trust.”
Last week, a report revealed that some of the popular third-party health apps on iOS were sending personal user data back to Facebook. NPR says today that has informed developers they must change this practice, or face being removed from the App Store completely.
Today’s report also focuses on Sam Cavaliere, a San Diego man who has started to rely on the medical records feature of the Health app on iOS:
“When I go to the doctor, in addition to my records from there, I get my blood pressure results that I’ve taken myself,” Cavaliere says. “And they can see that and compare it to what they’re doing in the office so that they get a bigger picture than just the once or twice a year that I show up at the office.”
The full NPR piece can be read here.