June 21, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce My Body, My Data Act to Protect Reproductive Health Data

Leaked Supreme Court draft decision raises concerns data could be used to target people if abortion is criminalized

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today introduced legislation that would protect personal reproductive health data in response to the leaked draft decision indicating the Supreme Court’s plans to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“The draft Supreme Court opinion overturning Roe shows that the fundamental rights of a woman over her own body and privacy are on the chopping block. Congress needs to step up and offer real protections for people seeking reproductive health care, and lots of people seek that care online. It is just common sense that data brokers, tech companies and advertisers shouldn’t be able to put personal, sensitive information on the public auction block for anyone with a credit card,” Wyden said. “I am proud to work with Congresswoman Jacobs and Senator Hirono to introduce privacy protections for that data with real teeth, so when women and pregnant people use a period tracking app or go to the doctor, they won’t have to worry about creepy third parties looking over their shoulder.”

The leaked draft Supreme Court decision has raised serious concerns that data collected by apps and websites could be used to target or arrest people if abortion is criminalized. This includes location data, search histories, and reproductive health data collected by menstruation, ovulation, and pregnancy tracking apps each month. Recent reporting has also revealed the prevalence with which consumers’ personal reproductive health information – often our most personal information – is disclosed and monetized. Currently, few protections exist to prevent personal reproductive health data or information about people seeking reproductive health services from being collected, retained, or disclosed to third parties.

The My Body, My Data Act is the first Congressional action to strengthen digital privacy and protect personal reproductive health information specifically. The bill would create a new national standard to protect personal reproductive health data, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). By minimizing the personal reproductive health data that is collected and retained, the bill would prevent this information from being disclosed or misused. 

The My Body, My Data Act was introduced by U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and U.S. Representative Sara Jacobs, D-Calif. The legislation was cosponsored by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I.

The bill is endorsed by Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), NARAL Pro-Choice America, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), National Partnership for Women & Families, the National Abortion Federation (NAF), Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity (URGE), and Feminist Majority.

The bill text is here.

A bill summary is here.