The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution in support of the federal “My Body, My Data” Act penned by Congresswoman Sara Jacob, which guards against the misuse of personal reproductive health data.
The resolution included the Board of Supervisors consent calendar, which passed in a 4-1 vote. Vice Chair Nora Vargas and Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer proposed the resolution.
The legislation aims to guard against the misuse of personal reproductive health data by restricting the use of such data by businesses and nongovernmental organizations. Personal reproductive health data found on phones, computers, or stored in apps could be weaponized against people in these criminalization efforts.
“The web searchers we conduct, emails that we send, and information we put into our apps should not be weaponized against us. That shouldn't be happening in the United States. Reproductive and health data is the most private and personal information. It is unthinkable to me that the information you put in an application, to simply monitor your period, could be used against you,” Vargas said.
Congresswoman Jacob’s My Body, My Data Act (H.R. 8111) restricts business and nongovernmental organizations from collecting, using, retaining, or disclosing reproductive health care information beyond what is strictly necessary to provide a product or service. People have the right to delete their personal reproductive health information and require organizations to publish their privacy policies.
Individuals can utilize their private right of action to bring lawsuits if their privacy has been violated.
“This is a moment where all hands are on deck have to be a priority,” Vargas said. “Even though in San Diego County, our reproductive rights, including the right to an abortion are protected, in the rest of the country it has been stripped away. We must continue this fight.”
The resolution comes after County officials approved a resolution on May 24 to support efforts to amend the California State Constitution to enshrine the right to abortion, and directed staff to conduct a comprehensive assessment of reproductive health care services offered by the County of San Diego and health care contractors.
Additionally, the board directed the County to advocate in support of legislative efforts that strengthen access to reproductive rights and health care services, including abortion.
“It is such a clear violation of our privacy rights,” Lawson-Remer said. “This [resolution] builds on the work that supervisor Vargas and I began last May I think it was when we asked the board to adopt a resolution to support efforts to amend the California Constitution to enshrine the right to choose here in the state of California and continuing that fight. It's such an important fight for women across our country and our community”.