Apple and Google have been hit with a swarm of political and privacy backlash following the release of their “exposure notification”. Despite efforts from both companies to limit public fear, countries continue to rally against the tech giants at a time when is difficult for many.
The United States has played a quiet role in the whole ordeal when it comes to any actual policy getting passed, but all that’s about to change. A group of Republican Senators are pushing for a bill that would, as Duo reports,
impose new restrictions on how companies handle consumer health data, what they’re allowed to do with it, and requirements for enabling people to request the deletion of their data.
Apple and Google have made clear the provision that will be given to users for the new API, however, the new bill is asking for more. The Senators are requesting direct regulatory restrictions on the collection, usage, transfer, and the “control” over data deletion. What the bill misses is what Apple and Google have said directly.
The companies have made repeatedly clear that data collection is anonymous, and uses a dynamic identifier for each device to coordinate who has tested positive or negative and shares that identifier with other devices who were in close proximity. At no stage during the process is any personal data shared, there is even no data shared on either companies databases.
The bill is still up for discussion, and no vote date has been set. Apple and Google plan to release their API around mid-May, the likelihood of any bill changing that time frame is hard to see.