EU Data protection and privacy watchdog calls greater accountability in the health app market
Published 18 June 2015
An opinion paper published by Giovanni Buttarelli, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), has recommended the application of greater responsibility and accountability for protecting health data for app developers, operating system (OS) manufacturers, device manufacturers, app stores and third parties.
Buttarelli recognises "the interaction between the Internet of Things ("IoT") and Big Data in mHealth [mobile health] can pose significant risks to data protection in view of the heavy penetration of smart devices and apps related to mHealth".
The view expressed in the report follows an EC mobile health consultation carried out last year whereby participants fed back that tougher regulation was required to develop consumer trust in mobile health. Buttarelli concluded in the most recent report that "data protection principles and rules provide guidance in a sector which is still largely unregulated. If duly complied with, they will increase legal certainty and trust in mHealth, thus contributing to its full development".
To view the EDPS opinion paper on "Mobile Health", please click here.
What action could be taken to manage risks that may arise from this development?
Companies with interests in health apps and/or wearable technology should watch for further updates, particularly in respect of the potential for increasing regulation.