What constitutes adequate legal protection for the collection, use and sharing of mobility and location data in health care in South Africa?
Keywords:data legislation, data sharing, mobility data, location data
Mobile phone technology has been a catalyst that has added an innovative dimension in health care and created new opportunities for digital health services. These digital devices can be viewed as an extension of the person using them due to the deluge of personal information that can be collected and stored on them. Data collected on mobile phones are used extensively in health services and research. Personal, mobility and location data are constantly collected. The unique mobile phone architecture provides for an easy flow of data between various role players such as application developers and phone manufacturers. The collection, storage and sharing of personal information on mobile phones elicit various legal questions relating to the protection of privacy, consent, liability and the accountability of stakeholders such as health insurance providers, hospital groups and national departments of health.
We analyse the major legal concerns of mobility and location data collection and processing through mobile phones in the context of health care and provide recommendations to develop data protection guidelines that are built on the principles of lawfulness, fairness and transparency. The issues explored are of relevance in an African context and to a broader international audience.
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National Institutes of Health
Grant numbers U01MH127704