Pass the "My Body, My Data" Act

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Pass the "My Body, My Data" Act

EFF supports Rep. Sara Jacobs’ “My Body, My Data" Act, which will protect the privacy and safety of people seeking reproductive health care.

Privacy fears should never stand in the way of healthcare. That's why this common-sense bill will require businesses and non-governmental organizations to act responsibly with personal information concerning reproductive health care. Specifically, it restricts them from collecting, using, retaining, or disclosing reproductive health information that isn't essential to providing the service someone asks them for.

These restrictions apply to companies that collect personal information related to a person’s reproductive or sexual health. That includes information such as data related to pregnancy, menstruation, surgery, termination of pregnancy, contraception, basal body temperature or diagnoses. The bill would protect people who, for example, use fertility or period-tracking apps or are seeking information about reproductive health services. 

We are proud to join Planned Parenthood, NARAL, National Abortion Federation, URGE, National Partnership for Women & Families, and Feminist Majority in support of the bill.

In addition to the restrictions on company data processing, this bill also provides people with necessary rights to access and delete their reproductive health information. Companies must also publish a privacy policy, so that everyone can understand what information companies process and why. It also ensures that companies are held to public promises they make about data protection, and gives the Federal Trade Commission the authority to hold them to account if they break those promises. 

The bill also lets people take on companies that violate their privacy with a strong private right of action. Empowering people to bring their own lawsuits not only places more control in the individual's hands, but also ensures that companies will not take these regulations lightly. 

Finally, while Rep. Jacobs' bill establishes an important national privacy foundation for everyone, it also leaves room for states to pass stronger or complementary laws to protect the data privacy of those seeking reproductive health care. 

We thank Rep. Jacobs and the other sponsors for taking up this important bill, and using it as an opportunity not only to protect those seeking reproductive health care, but also highlight why data privacy is an important element of reproductive justice. 

* This article was originally published here


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