Attorney General James Urges Apple and Google to Take Steps to Protect Consumers Using Coronavirus Contact Tracing Apps

Posted to Applied Web NY on Mon, 06/15/2020 - 16:06

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today urged two of the world’s largest technology companies — Apple, maker of the iPhone, and Google, developer of the Android operating system — to take necessary steps to protect consumer information and privacy as New Yorkers and Americans across the country continue to battle the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In letters to both companies — which follow up on inquiries previously made by the Office of the Attorney General — Attorney General James calls on Apple and Google to ensure that existing and future third-party contact tracing apps published through Apple’s App Store and Android’s Play Store do not inappropriately collect and retain users’ sensitive information. Attorney General James seeks the companies’ help in preventing untrusted third-party apps from collecting sensitive personal health information, minimizing invasive data collection, and ensuring appropriate deletion of consumer information. Attorney General James also asks the companies to make clear to consumers the difference between apps launched by governmental public health agencies, meant to notify individuals they may have been exposed to the virus, and third-party contact tracing apps, which could possibly take advantage of consumers for financial gain.