AB 254 protects confidential personal data collected by apps and websites used by individuals for menstrual tracking, and for other reproductive and sexual health
- Sarah Goodman
Sacramento CA – Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan’s (D-Orinda) AB 254 has passed the Assembly floor with bipartisan support. The bill ensures the privacy and security of individuals' information when they opt to use apps and websites that provide reproductive and sexual health services.
"When people track menstruation or fertility, that data is clearly health information; health information that can put people at risk of jail time,” said Assemblymember Bauer-Kahan. "California is committed to protecting the privacy and security of every individual, whether they are in a doctor’s office or online.”
The current lack of protection for sensitive information collected by menstrual tracking apps and other digital services leaves individuals vulnerable to criminalization and predatory advertising based on their reproductive health choices. This legislation is critically needed as some states have already moved to criminalize abortion and gender-affirming healthcare, putting millions of people at risk. In addition to the legal risks, the information sharing can result in users being tracked across the internet with ads about this sensitive information. This predatory advertising can be incredibly stigmatizing and dissuades people from getting care.
AB 254 extends the privacy safeguards of the CA Confidential Medical Information Act (CMIA) to digital services that offer sexual and reproductive healthcare, offering a vital layer of protection for this sensitive information. The consequences of this vulnerable data falling into the wrong hands are dire, and AB 254 prevents this from happening by creating a secure and continuous data protection across all health platforms.