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Home / Gadgets / Tim Cook on Health Records privacy: "People will look at that and believe they can trust Apple"

Tim Cook on Health Records privacy: "People will look at that and believe they can trust Apple"



In an article NPR on the secrecy of medical records on the iPhone, Apple CEO Tim Cook said this week Apple is a company that people can trust confidential information.


As evidence, Cook said Apple always avoided selling user data, something that Cook and other executives have repeated over and over again.

In an interview with NPR, Cook says getting user credentials to sell ads is something company has avoided. "People will look at that and believe that they can trust Apple," he says. "This is a key element for anyone with whom you work on your health."

Apple executives have always pointed out that their customers are not their product. This distinguishes Apple from other technology companies, such as Google and Facebook, who rely heavily on user data for marketing and monetization purposes. According to Cook, Apple's privacy commitment is serious and not something that the company just says to win customers' trust.

"It's not as we see it in terms of benefits," he says. "The reality is that I know that I want to do business with people who have my health data, people I deeply trust."

Cook's statement is part of a broader view of the medical record added to the iPhone Last year, iPhone users in the health app were able to see up-to-date medical records directly from hospitals, clinics, and physicians. Apple has partnered with many different institutions for the health records feature, which provides millions of people with easy access to health data.

Sam Cavaliere, a technician using Health Records and mentioned in the article NPR says Apple has earned its trust. "I do not get fed ads for them, so I do not see them trying to monetize them," he said, adding that he is "satisfied" with what Apple is doing.

Dr. Chris Longhurst, Chief Information Officer at UC San Diego Health, also said that Apple's focus on data privacy has calmed hospital officials because patient health is of the utmost importance.

UCSD Health likes the fact that all record data is stored only on the device and not uploaded to the cloud. This helps to protect patients.

NPR noted recent news that certain health-related apps, such as period trackers and heart rate monitor apps, share data with Facebook for targeted advertising. However, Apple has made it clear that these apps do not connect to Health Records, a highly protected and restricted feature. Access to health apps generally can only be granted with explicit user permission.

Longhurst says that although Apple's healthcare app is well protected, there are "potential risks," and patients using the feature should be kept up to date to ensure that they do not unintentionally share health data with third parties.

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