Apple CEO questioned over coronavirus screening app

Several Democratic senators asked Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook about the privacy of the company’s new COVID-19 screening app and website.

Senators Bob Menendez, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker and Richard Blumenthal sent a letter to the company on Friday expressing concern “for the safety and security of Americans’ private health data.”

They want to know about data-sharing practices and safeguards, and whether the app complies with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

The senators are also seeking information on Apple’s agreements with federal or state governments for the development of the app, according to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg.

The senators acknowledge that Apple says the software does not “require a sign-in or association with a user’s Apple ID, and users’ individual responses will not be sent to Apple or any government organization.”

The iPhone maker addresses the tool’s privacy on its website. “Apple is not collecting your answers from the screening tool,” the company says. “To help improve the site, Apple collects some information about how you use it. The information collected will not personally identify you.”

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Apple CEO questioned over coronavirus screening app