Google Announces New Measures to Safeguard User Privacy on Healthcare Matters

Google has stated that it is going to take steps to improve privacy protections for end users of its services. Google has always recommended an extensive, national privacy law covering consumer data to make sure there is regularity throughout the entire country, instead of depending on a patchwork of state-level privacy regulations. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act that was lately released could result in the introduction of national privacy legislation, however until ADPPA or similar consumer data privacy rules are signed into law, Google stated it has taken extra steps to safeguard user privacy, particularly for health-associated concerns.

Google stated that the location log is deactivated in Google accounts by default, nevertheless, when users decide to switch on location records, they can auto-remove or manually erase portions or all of their location records at any time. Nevertheless, to further secure privacy, Google has included a new auto-remove feature that will be launched in the following few weeks. If Google discovers that a user has gone to specific medical facilities offering sensitive healthcare services, the entries will be automatically removed from the user’s location log shortly after the visit.

Those locations are the following:

  • Abortion clinics
  • Counseling centers
  • Fertility centers
  • Domestic violence shelters
  • Addiction treatment facilities
  • Cosmetic surgery centers
  • Weight loss clinics

On Google Play, there are policies that stop app programmers from selling personal information and sensitive user information, developers must only handle data for purposes directly associated with the use of the app, and any details gathered should be dealt with securely. A new information safety section has now been added that developers can use to provide app users with more details about how their applications acquire, share, and protect user information.

People using Google Fit and Fitbit have access to tools that permit them to quickly access and manage their personal information, including the option to modify or delete their tracking details as they see fit. Users of Fitbit who opted to monitor their menstrual cycles in the application can currently erase menstruation data one by one, and there will be updates that allow users to erase several logs at the same time.

Google has additionally made clear its position concerning the demands of law enforcement for user data. It explained that the privacy and security expectations of individuals using Google products are taken into account. People are notified when Google complies with the requirements of the government, except if forbidden from doing so or if lives are at risk – for instance in an emergency scenario. Google remains dedicated to safeguarding its users against incorrect government requirements for information, and will still go against demands that are excessively broad or otherwise lawfully objectionable.

About Christine Garcia 1304 Articles
Christine Garcia is the staff writer on Calculated HIPAA. Christine has several years experience in writing about healthcare sector issues with a focus on the compliance and cybersecurity issues. Christine has developed in-depth knowledge of HIPAA regulations. You can contact Christine at [email protected]. You can follow Christine on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ChrisCalHIPAA