Media spotlight without facts makes mHealth privacy a tougher task

Senator Schumer got a lot of positive media coverage for asking the FTC to investigate whether fitness apps are selling personal information. But in naming FitBit, Schumer may have pointed the finger at a company that does not sell personal information.

Judy Mottl writes:

…. The lawmaker, Chuck Schumer (D), is obviously acting in best faith and striving to protect his constituents.

That’s a good thing.

But what’s not good is that Schumer put the focus on Fitbit, one of the veteran fitness tracker manufacturers, saying the company was selling its user data. Fitbit immediately responded, stating it doesn’t sell its data and that to do so would be against its privacy policy. Fitbit added that it would like to “work with” the senator on the issue.


To name a vendor without providing verification of such activity not only clouds the issue, it can cause unnecessary concern and consumer backlash. Schumer and other lawmakers must be more careful when pointing fingers, and need to get a bit more knowledgeable about what federal agencies are doing when it comes to data protection and consumer privacy.

Read more on FierceMobileHealthcare.

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