ONC Announces Winners of Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge

Americans notoriously do not read the privacy agreements that pop up whenever they download an app or make an iTunes purchase. In most cases, the consequences are few. But as digital, mobile, and wearable health technologies become more popular, consumers can’t afford to ignore the privacy agreements that accompany these tools. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) recognized this problem last year and launched the Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge. Participants were asked to create Model Privacy Notice (MPN) generators that produce a customizable MPN for health information technology (IT) developers, making it easier for consumers to see a product’s privacy and security policies.

ONC recently announced the winners of the challenge.

The first place finishers, who were awarded $20,000, were Daniel Solove and Jason Cronk. According to an ONC press release, Solove and Cronk’s generator “features a side-by-side, live-updating view allowing application developers to see the MPN as they complete the app’s sections. It also clearly shows the developer which sections are completed or require more information. The MPN most successfully combines the clarity and simplicity of a nutrition facts-type label with visual icons that aid comprehension of the privacy concepts,” according to an ONC press release.

Daniel Solove has written for the Journal and has presented privacy webinars for AHIMA.

“Compared to when the original Model Privacy Notice was released in 2011, the consumer-facing health IT market now features a much larger variety of digital health technologies that collect information,” said Genevieve Morris, principal deputy national coordinator for health IT, in an ONC press release. “The winners designed innovative tools that will help make privacy notices easier for consumers to understand, so they can know how and why their health information is being shared.”

Mary Butler is the associate editor at The Journal of AHIMA.

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