Pokémon Go Isn’t the Only App Invading Your Privacy: Protect Birth Control Privacy
Recent news has alarmed users of the Pokémon Go app about possible sharing of private information — but, similar privacy issues could arise with users of Wellness apps, who like the Pokémon Go users, are trying to improve their health through use of the apps. Back in February, Cosmopolitan reported that some companies were tracking their employees’ use of prescription drugs, including birth control. Ostensibly, this tracking was to help people stay healthy as part of workplace wellness programs. The apps used could remind people to take their medicine or to go pick up a prescription at the pharmacy. But, for birth control, the implications when these apps share information with your boss can be extremely detrimental, particularly if your boss takes discriminatory action against you because he opposes the use of birth control or because he thinks you are pregnant if the app shows that you stopped picking up your birth control prescription.
Thankfully, this week, the Birth Control Privacy Act was introduced in the House of Representatives to protect employees from these very situations. The bill eliminates the privacy loophole that exists when a third party, like an app, collects information about birth control use or prescriptions and shares it with your employer. Before downloading an app, it is always good to stop and think about exactly what information you’re disclosing and to whom, but often we skip that step. Until the Birth Control Privacy Act becomes law, a privacy loophole exists and you may want to stop and think just a little bit longer before clicking the “I accept” button on that wellness app your company recommends.