‘We are on a collision course’: As virtual care booms, experts call for new health data privacy protections

A drop in your daily step count. A missed period. A loss of hearing. If it’s collected by a smartwatch or wearable, that health data isn’t protected the same way your medical records are.And as wearables like smartwatches and headphones sweep up an increasing amount of health data — flagging potential medical issues that could be used for ad targeting or to discriminate against someone — some lawmakers and researchers are calling for a reconsideration of the current approach.In a sign of the increasing urgency of the problem during the current virtual care boom, U.S. senators last month reintroduced a bill that would make it illegal for companies like Apple, Amazon, or Google to sell or share the data collected by wearables. Violations of the act would be enforced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the same manner it enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA.Legal experts consider the move a step in the right direction, but caution t...

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