Apple Warns Developers not to Store Health Data in iCloud


This week, hackers were able to gain access to a number of celebrities’ Photo Streams and posted nude photos for the world to see. The iCloud invasion has created much fear regarding Apple’s supposedly secure cloud storage service.

The iPad maker also released an official statement regarding the issue, claiming that the access to iOS user data was not a breach in iCloud, but a targeted attack using brute force on victims’ information.

Brute force or not, the fact that hackers were able to gain access to personal data that we thought was totally secure brings up a lot of questions about just how safe our privacy is, including medical information that Apple hopes we will be tracking in iOS 8.

Today, Apple updated its App Store Review Guideline with additional information regarding HealthKit. Regulation 27.3 specifically states, “Apps using the HealthKit framework that storeusers’ health information in iCloud will be rejected.”

When Apple first unveiled HealthKit at the Worldwide Developer Conference, the software development kit was described as a means for allowing apps to communicate with each other and share data with the Health app. Apple explained HealthKit could make it possible for users to automatically send data to medical professionals for analysis.

Without iCloud, it will be interesting to see how this kind of information is stored and shared in the manner in which Apple originally described. Information won’t be backed up in an online storage service for quick access. Instead, personal information will likely be sent directly to software at a medical facility, where it must be stored locally. Will this affect how doctors use HealthKit? It seems like Apple has crippled HealthKit’s potential by not allowing information to be stored in iCloud.

If the iPad maker is so sure that the recent hack was nothing more than a “very targeted attack,” why is iCloud not available for storing medical information? If Apple is worried about how users feel storing medical information in iCloud, why isn’t the company more concerned with how we feel about storing our pictures, credit card information, and other personal data?

About Lory: Writer of all things app related, traveler of the space-time continuum, baker of really great cookies. Follow me @appaholik