October 8

Florida School Collecting Menstrual Data Raises Privacy Concerns – SheKnows

By fitness

October 8, 2022

A student-athlete bodily analysis containing pupil’s reproductive well being information drew criticism from dad and mom and advocates earlier this week when it turned clear that the software program used to gather the data was not one assured to guard pupil privateness — notably within the aftermath of Roe v Wade being overturned.

The bodily analysis type (accessible on-line), which in response to the Palm Beach Post had been utilized by Florida colleges for a number of years, included non-compulsory questions on menstruation which can be, usually, questions docs and healthcare suppliers would possibly ask: “When was your first menstrual period? When was your most recent menstrual period? How much time do you usually have from the start of one period to the start of another? How many periods have you had in the last year? What was the longest time between periods in the last year?”

The difficulty, nonetheless, for fogeys on the Palm Beach County School District was seeing that this data was going to be shared straight with the colleges by way of the software program Aktivate — a start-up co-founded by former-AOL CEO Jon Miller that signed a 3 12 months licensing take care of the district.

Coaches and fogeys had a number of critiques of the software program and its results on accessibility for pupil athletes (notably these in marginalized communities) in addition to further hurdles in contrast the earlier hard-copy strategies of delivering eligibility paperwork, in response to the Palm Beach Post.

However, this extra difficulty of menstruation information had dad and mom additionally involved concerning the long- and short-term privateness of their youngsters — notably as Florida is a state that bans abortions after 15 weeks, a time frame earlier than many individuals even know they're pregnant (notably if they've irregular intervals).

Hesky Kutscher, CEO of Aktivate, spoke at a college board assembly in August to guarantee dad and mom that their service prioritized privateness and supplied “high security and high privacy for all the information that is put into our system — far bigger security, by the way, than paper.”

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However, the digitization of this information additionally runs opposite to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advisement that types containing medical historical past and examination information shouldn’t be shared straight with colleges for the sake of affected person privateness. Instead, it’s suggested that the mandatory data — whether or not a pupil athlete is wholesome and eligible to play their sport — be shared with out it providing up the whole lot of their HIPAA-protected well being data to a third-party service.

Parents aren’t overreacting in the event that they see data compilation like this as a purple flag or need extra of a dedication to privateness, as Will Owen, Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (STOP) Communications Director informed SheKnows by way of e mail. After all, there are documented circumstances of tech firms working with police to criminalize people who find themselves pregnant, miscarrying or in any other case making an attempt to navigate the draconian post-Roe obstacles to healthcare.

“Florida’s questionnaires about student athletes’ menstrual cycles were invasive, misogynistic, and transphobic to begin with. But after Governor DeSantis’ appalling attacks on transgender youth and Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, they are a ticking time bomb. Post-Roe, law enforcement can use all American surveillance infrastructure to track pregnant people where abortion has been criminalized,” Owen stated. “Aktivate, which isn’t subject to HIPAA, is introducing yet another repository of sensitive reproductive health data that could be subpoenaed at any moment. We’ve already seen how willing third parties are to collude with police in criminalizing pregnant people, as in the case of Meta in Nebraska. There’s no reason to believe Aktivate would behave any differently.”

On Thursday, the college district did announce that they've heard these issues and reached out to the Florida High School Athletic Association to change the shape to take away these non-compulsory questions and, as a spokesperson for the district informed NBC News, they'd “continue to explore other options, such as lobbying for revisions to this form and/or limiting the information provided to schools to solely the physician’s approval or disapproval of the student-athlete’s medical clearance.”

As the privateness protections and entry to reproductive healthcare continues to differ relying on the state you reside in post-Roe, it’s extra vital than ever that oldsters really feel empowered to talk up and shield their youngsters’ and youths’ well being information and, finally, their privateness.

Before you go, try the tales of celebrities who've had abortions and shared their tales:

celebrity abortion stories

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