KUALA LUMPUR, May 25 — A health ad wasn’t what I expected from Apple as the countdown begins for the company’s biggest event for the summer, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC).

Health data privacy has proven to be a contentious issue in the last couple of years with various social media posts warning people, women especially, to not save any of their health data on their phone in case it could be used against them.

At the same time, for many people, being able to record and share their health data with trusted providers has been quite literally lifesaving.


There’s a reason that every Apple Watch launch comes with a montage of the numerous “Apple Watch saved my life” stories and that reason is data.

Alongside the ad, Apple has also released a white paper, the Health Privacy Overview that summarises how data is kept safe within both the Health app and Apple’s Healthkit framework.

The paper details among others the data safety precautions put in place, including cloud encryption and on-device processing, with no external party (Apple included) being able to access the data once encrypted.


Part of the precautions include the requirement that only apps providing health or fitness services will be given access to user data, but even then the user must opt-in to give permission.

Users can also have a lot of options as to what gets tracked or computed — for instance, opting out of using sleep data to improve cycle predictions.

It is important, now more than ever, for smartphone users to be more judicious about their personal data and think about where it goes.

Knowledge, as the old adage goes, is power and it’s better to know how your trusted service provider is handling your data and how you can empower yourself to decide just how much you want to share.

Watch the ad below: