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Could Apple's Latest Hire Suggest A Health Program Is Inbound?

Could Apple's Latest Hire Suggest A Health Program Is Inbound?

March 25, 2014

One of Apple’s most recent hires suggests that the Cupertino, Calif. company could be planning on bringing a social “health program” to the market, according to a recent report.

The news comes from AppleInsider, which draws attention to Apple’s recent hire of Sabrina Ross. Ross is working in the company’s new privacy council, “a position that oversees the protection of sensitive customer data, among other responsibilities,” AppleInsider explains.

Ross’s LinkedIn profile lists her past experience working in privacy and data protection with a particular emphasis on the healthcare field. Could this indicate that an Apple-made social health program is currently in development?

The LinkedIn profile reads:

A certified privacy professional, CIPP/US, I have experience with a wide-range of Internet and information law matters involving privacy and data protection, online brand protection, electronic surveillance, defamation, information security, cloud computing, social media, locational privacy, e-commerce, and national security. I am passionate about addressing these issues with both business acumen and an eye towards litigation strategy.

My practice includes developing privacy compliance systems, creating privacy/data security training and policies, conducting risk analysis in the merger/acquisition context, and providing compliance counseling regarding the state/federal/international privacy law landscape.

Though mere speculation, AppleInsider draws attention to the significance of Ross’s past experience in specific relation to Apple’s anticipated “iWatch” product and its accompanying “Healthbook” app.

As a reminder, Apple has long been expected to launch a smart watch product this year which offers users a degree of health and fitness functionality. More recently, however, we’ve heard that the upcoming iOS 8 should include a so-called Healthbook application that syncs with Apple’s iWatch and allows users to gain comprehensive information on their daily activity.

AppleInsider ventures that this Healthbook app could include a degree of social integration; if so, “the system would no doubt raise privacy concerns, especially with iOS’ vast installed user base. Privacy best practices and other policies would need to be implemented before such a product rolled out.”

Does this explain the company’s hire of Sabrina Ross?

At the latest, Apple would be expected to unveil its Healthbook app in June at WWDC, and as such we still have a few months to wait until we know for sure what iOS 8 is going to bring. We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Apple Testing Related Search Keyword Suggestions In App Store On iOS, Apple’s Latest ‘Your Verse’ Story Focuses On Sports-Related Concussions, and Apple Offers Refunds For Some Unauthorized In-App Purchases Made By Minors.

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