ONC Holds Contest to Create a Digital Model Privacy Notice Generator

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) has launched a contest to build a simple, online Model Privacy Notice (MPN) generator that mHealth and other digital health technology developers can use in their products. The Privacy Policy Snapshot Challenge aims to increase use of privacy notices in the growing digital health IT sector, specifically in medical device wearables and other mHealth.

“This simple, online generator would support app and other health technology developers as they customize a privacy notice for product users that is compelling and easy to understand,” stated an ONC press release on the contest.

As ONC outlined in its July 2016 report to Congress, many new businesses use consumer-facing technology to collect, handle, analyze, and share health information about individuals—sometimes without the individuals’ knowledge. Use of a clear Model Privacy Notice by these businesses would help individuals understand exactly how their personal health information is being used, ONC officials said.

The contest calls on developers, designers, health data privacy experts, and any other innovators to use the content from the ONC’s MPN template—which underwent informal consumer tests and was vetted by the Federal Trade Commission and Office for Civil Rights—to create an open-source, online tool “that can generate a user-friendly snapshot of a product’s privacy practices,” the press release stated. Once the MPN generator is created, developers must perform their own consumer tests and share results with ONC as part of their contest entry.

The winning entry will be awarded $20,000, with second place receiving $10,000, and third place receiving $5,000. Contest submissions will be accepted through April 10, 2017, and can be entered at Challenge.gov. Winners are expected to be announced in mid-2017.


Chris Dimick (chris.dimick@ahima.org) is editor-in-chief of the Journal of AHIMA.

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