back to article Apple tells devs: NO slurping users' HEALTH for sale to Dark Powers

Apple is expected to unveil new products that will use the latest version of its iOS operating system, including new iPhones, on 9 September. But app developerswill be prevented from making sensitive user data available to third parties using the "HealthKit" platform. This is according to the latest version of the firm's …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Be still...

    ... my aching sides.

  2. Vimes

    Would anybody trust Apple given the games that they've played in the past with the likes of location data? And for that matter why trust any US company with health data when they've already been accused of ignoring the safe harbour provisions that they're supposed to be abiding by?

    And don't get me started on 'medical research' and the ways in which that term can apparently be stretched into meaning almost anything people want it to.

    1. ThomH

      Where the game they played with location data being... failure to empty out a cache and, additionally, not requiring that iOS backups are encrypted by default.

      With the net effect that personal data might be easily obtained because (i) it was still recorded even when long stale; and (ii) users who would have enabled encryption had they known might not have done so because they didn't know the personal data was there.

      It's cock up, not conspiracy. The evidence in support of that proposition is that the cache data was never sent to anyone. Apple didn't harvest this data. It never even received it.

      So if you're asking: who would trust Apple to store personal information securely? Yeah, hopefully nobody to whom the issue is particularly critical. But who should take Apple on its word that it's going to block apps that try to profit from your data? Well, I think everyone. Apple's track record on blocking apps based on policing, and over-policing, of internal policies is very strong...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The only reason for this...

    Is so Apple can sell the data on to third parties themselves...

    1. Financegozu

      Re: The only reason for this...

      Could you please give an example of data that Apple sold in the past? (Thumbs down for your comment!)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The only reason for this...

        Here's your example...

        And have a downvote on me mate... ;-)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The only reason for this...

          As the article says:

          Whether or not Apple is actually selling customer information to third parties isn't quite so clear cut. The company collects customer data to track purchases and make future transactions easier, but its policies only say that it can share some information, not that it does.

          So we don't know in this case whether they are selling the data.

        2. Financegozu

          Re: The only reason for this...

          Have you noticed that this is NOT a court decision but only a report about a class actions? Wake me up when the decision is in.

        3. Joe 35

          Re: The only reason for this...

          If thats the best you can do, Apple's in good shape.

          Its an allegation and even then its not even an allegation that that PII is sold, merely demographic info.

      2. donguevas

        Re: The only reason for this...

        I guess you never heard of IAD, which uses collected data to target users for advertiser selection. .From data they gathered from their users.

        Fanboy much? They have been doing it for years.

  4. Financegozu

    What's to criticize with Apple forbidding to sell that information?

    So any developer aiming for a health app knows already what he/she cannot do BEFORE starting to code. I like Apple's approach to protecting my privacy VERY MUCH!

    1. ratfox

      Re: What's to criticize with Apple forbidding to sell that information?

      What guarantees do you have they won't do it all the same?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What's to criticize with Apple forbidding to sell that information?

        Apple's app review process should help somewhat, though that's no guarantee. But then, you don't have a guarantee that someone in your doctor's office staff isn't selling your information, either.

  5. DaveMcM

    Not that I would fully trust either but I'd be a lot more confident with Apple having my data than Google given that selling my data to advertisers / random people in the street is pretty much Google's entire business model.

    As mentioned above the Apple "location tracking scandal" was a location cache file that was not being cleared properly and this issue has been fixed for a couple of years now. While the cache file itself it was fairly easily accessible by gaining access to an unencrypted backup or to the device itself there was never any evidence of it being uploaded / transmitted anywhere else.

  6. a53


    Sadly, governments will get their hands on that data. And then, they'll sell it.

  7. Dylbot

    After all this celebrity norks nonsense, I don't think it's third parties that should be scrutinised for access to sensitive data, eh Apple?

  8. nsld
    Paris Hilton


    I was hoping to get blood pressure readings of the various slebs after they found out that the Apples sieve like security had spaffed their norks all over the interwebs.

    Its for medical research, honest guv......

  9. 101

    Mental Illness App

    Anyone who knowingly allows Apple and thus the whole world have access to their health data ought to have their head examined. If nothing else it's a sure sign the user is mentally ill and possibly a moron.

    1. Joe 35

      Re: Mental Illness App

      Anyone who knowingly allows Apple and thus the whole world


      ?????? there's a non sequitur if ever I saw one.

  10. MyffyW Silver badge

    Very disappointed

    Saw "flogging" on the subject line and thought I'd rumbled a fifty shades angle.

  11. Christian Berger

    That's essentially pointless...

    ... but a nice marketing coup. It's not like Apple could do anything against it without giving up basic principles.

    It'll just change the business model of those companies slightly.

    Instead of creating a hype to be bought by some larger company of insane amounts of money, startups now hope to be bought by an insurance company for insane amounts of money because that way the data will be bought with them.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple doesn't need to harvest data and sell it on

    Just shove it all securely into iCloud...Oh, wait.

  13. Michael Habel

    No that's Apples racket....

    However, they will not be able to "sell an end-user's health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers", according to the licensing agreement.

    Why let Third-Party Devs steal your all of the Pie when you can keep it for yourself....

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