Apple starts global health data privacy, including in India

NEW DELHI: As millions of people now track their health data online via a plethora of smart devices, Apple Inc on May 24 unveiled a new campaign to emphasize the significance of health data privacy worldwide, including in India.

This summer, the campaign will be promoted through television, social media, and billboards in 24 different areas around the world. Billboards can be found in Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune, and Ahmedabad in India.

It will feature a brand-new commercial with Jane Lynch, an Emmy Award-winning actress and comedian, billboards in 24 different countries across the world, and a white paper on how Apple helps protect data saved in the Health app on iPhones and in HealthKit.

To highlight the significance of health data privacy, a comedic advt tells the story of people whose health data is shared sans their consent by a third party voiced by Lynch.  The commercial is directed by "I, Tonya" and "Cruella" director and award-winner Craig Gillespie. A white paper on the privacy of health data was also released by the corporation.

The tech giant has incorporated each of these four pillars into its Health features from the start because it adheres to the four privacy principles of data minimization, on-device processing, transparency and control, and security.

iOS generates health metrics on-device to reduce the quantity of health data transferred to Apple's servers. The data in the Health app is end-to-end encrypted for users who have two-factor authentication, a device passcode, and a device running iOS 12 or later. Data in the Health app is therefore unreadable by anyone, including Apple.

On-device calculations are used to provide data displayed in the Health app, such as Trends & Highlights, resting heart rate, and Cycle Tracking projections. In order to deliver health metrics and summaries, this on-device storage and calculation helps to ensure that Apple does not view this data.

Since  health information is delicate, Apple makes sure the user has control over what information is shared, with whom it is shared, and how it is utilised. Through HealthKit, apps can ask for access to various types of data, and users can choose whether or not to share certain types of data.

Apple Watch and iPhone health and fitness data is securely synchronised to iPhone and is protected on the devices with a passcode. As a result, unless someone has your passcode and physical access to your device, the data in the Health app cannot be viewed. Notably, over 95% of active iCloud users had two-factor authentication turned on as of August 2022.

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