Proposed Senate data privacy bill will expand HIPAA, limit health apps

A new bill proposed by Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, on June 14 would expand HIPAA's reach to include regulation of wearable devices, digital health apps and DNA testing kits.

The Protecting Personal Health Data Act calls for increased regulation of genetic, biometric and personal health data not currently covered by HIPAA. It would allow consumers to access, alter and delete the health data collected and used by companies, and would establish a task force to address cybersecurity and privacy risks associated with these devices, services and software.

"New technologies have made it easier for people to monitor their own health, but health tracking apps and home DNA testing kits have also given companies access to personal, private data with limited oversight," Ms. Klobuchar said in a statement. "This legislation will protect consumers' personal health data by requiring that regulations be issued by the federal agencies that have the expertise to keep up with advances in technology."

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