Edinburgh Impact

Roe v Wade overturned: data protection under threat?


矢量的一个女人用放大镜看着一个男人站在一个现代的小装置, smartphone or tablet

By Dr Catriona McMillan, Deputy Director, Mason Institute for Medicine, Life Sciences and the Law

On 24 June 2022, 美国最高法院发布了对多布斯诉杰克逊妇女健康组织案的正式裁决. 他们的决定推翻了具有里程碑意义的罗伊诉韦德案,该案件之前给予了美国所有州联邦保障的堕胎权利. 这一决定意味着,在美国一些州,如果女性寻求堕胎,她们将面临刑事起诉.

Diminishing human rights

这一裁决显然是对美国公民生育权的严重关切. The negative consequences for people there are wide-ranging, from those that are more obvious, such as severe difficulties in accessing abortion where they live, risk of criminal prosecution, 到更隐蔽的地方,比如到另一个州接受医疗保健的相关费用.

Protests took place worldwide. 在土耳其,人们穿着电视剧《全球网络堵博平台》中的服装进行表演。.

这项裁决也引起了人们对禁止堕胎各州执法的严重关切, 需要紧急关注的一个方面是官员们传唤与终止妊娠有关的数据的能力, from data companies and ‘femtech’ apps, particularly fertility trackers, now a widely used smartphone app.

This means that for users of fertility trackers, 他们的隐私不仅与澳门正规前十堵城网在网上留下的数字足迹纠缠在一起, but their health outcomes and bodily autonomy are too. 如果澳门正规前十堵城网要保护妇女的生育权利,就必须从罗伊诉韦德案的翻案中吸取教训, trans men, and those of other gender identities who can get pregnant.

Has tech gone too far?

‘Femtech’ is a term used to describe a range of technologies, usually personal health tracking technologies, associated with a smartphone app, that promise women power, control and knowledge of one’s body. femtech市场增长迅速,有人预测其市场价值为1美元.1 trillion within the next five years.

It is especially popular among teens and young adults, 据报道,它是应用商店中年轻女性第二大最受欢迎的应用类型. While undoubtedly useful for many users, it continues to present a serious risk to their privacy, because as with fertility tracking apps, users are invited to input data such as menstrual cycle length, any symptoms they may have such as cramps, when they have had sex and with whom, and so on and so forth.

A woman waiting for pregnancy test results, holding her phone

Many of us today rely heavily on our smartphones, and the numerous apps we use process all kinds of data. Much of the time this is sold to third parties, such as social media websites, for the purpose of advertising.

尽管健康数据通常比其他类型的数据受到相对较强的保护和监管, in most jurisdictions these rules sometimes do not go far enough. Further, privacy terms are often contained in small print, 当用户第一次打开应用接受或拒绝时,是否可以跳过或不呈现给他们.

What permission?

Some popular apps have been reported to have shared user data with Facebook, primarily for the purposes of targeted advertising. Yet an issue remains, more complex than companies promising not to share or sell data (which, I might add, not all do).

Protection of user data varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and for most femtech users it is a matter of where the data is processed. In response to concerns over privacy, following the Dobbs decision, 几家femtech公司发布声明,向用户保证他们输入的数据是“隐私和安全的”。. But empirical evidence gathered so far suggests the contrary.

For example, a recent letter by the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform, 引用了一项研究,该研究显示,美国排名前23位的女性健康应用程序中,有近90%与第三方共享数据, with only 50 per cent requesting user permission to do so.

值得注意的是,寻求堕胎的人的隐私问题超出了femtech. 在Roe v Wade案判决后,谷歌宣布计划删除访问过美国堕胎诊所的用户的位置历史记录, but since then it has been reported that this can be easily circumvented.

Anyone who is concerned about the right to privacy and the role data can, and unfortunately will, 将寻求医疗保健的妇女和其他可以怀孕的人定罪, will be alarmed. As with recent tentative but promising moves in Scotland, 确保寻求到堕胎诊所就诊的人的安全和健康, (比如最近全球网络堵博平台建立缓冲区的讨论)需要采取措施保护英国的隐私, too.


The erosion of legal protections

最近的新闻报道强调了令人震惊的报道:在英格兰,妇女因寻求堕胎而被警方调查, outside of the criteria laid out in the Abortion Act 1967, 英国规定(在某些情况下)合法堕胎的法律, Wales and Scotland. (根据1861年的《全球网络堵博平台》,在英格兰和威尔士,所有其他的堕胎都是非法的. This latter act does not apply to Scotland). Sadly, these sorts of investigations are not new. Moreover, 据报道,在多布斯决定几乎整整一个月之后,联合王国政府从一份全球网络堵博平台性别平等的声明中取消了对堕胎和性健康权利的承诺.

Of data protection regimes around the world, it may be said that the one we currently have in the UK, derived from the EU General Data Protection Regulation, is ‘better’ than most. 话虽如此,这一制度经常被批评为在保护澳门正规前十堵城网的数据方面做得不够.

Further, 英国的数据保护似乎越来越有可能脱离其欧盟根基, post-Brexit, as with much other legislation. Indeed, 在最近全球网络堵博平台新的数据保护和数字信息法案的声明中, introduced on 18th July 2022, the Government made clear its plans to “[S]利用英国脱欧的好处,改变英国独立的数据法。”, and among several areas of reform, noted of particular relevance to femtech, 是“澳门正规前十堵城网正在减轻企业的负担,在此之前,这些企业阻碍了英国获得更多个人数据使用的好处”。.

The data collected by these apps about sex, menstruation, 怀孕和堕胎是非常敏感的问题,澳门正规前十堵城网必须保持警惕,关注这里生殖权利的变化, and elsewhere, 以及数据保护(或缺乏数据保护)对澳门正规前十堵城网身体和身体自由的影响.