House panel to investigate reproductive health data privacy

A U.S. House of Representatives panel plans to examine whether data companies and personal health apps are keeping patients' reproductive health data private in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, NBC reported July 8.

The panel sent letters to executives at data brokers, including SafeGraph, and health apps, including Flo Health, requesting documents by July 21.

"The collection of sensitive data could pose serious threats to those seeking reproductive care as well as to providers of such care, not only by facilitating intrusive government surveillance, but also by putting people at risk of harassment, intimidation and even violence," House Oversight Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wrote in the letter with Democratic Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois and Sara Jacobs of California.

"Geographic data collected by mobile phones may be used to locate people seeking care at clinics, and search and chat history referring to clinics or medication create digital bread crumbs revealing interest in an abortion," they wrote.

The Biden administration has already provided guidance on how people can keep their reproductive health data private at a time when many states have moved to ban abortion.

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