Today in APIs: Apple Restricts Use of Healthkit APIs

Apple has barred advertisers from accessing health data collected by its Healthkit APIs. Amazon makes file storage service Zocalo available to all AWS customers. Plus: Google closes down its web search API, and the dangers of APIs as spaghetti patchwork.

Apple Creates Privacy Rules for Healthkit Data

As has been widely reported, Apple has created a new app, "Health" with Healthkit APIs that collect data on a variety of vital signs like pulse and blood pressure, as well as compiling statistics on exercise and diet. In a bid to head off concerns about misuse of that data, Apple has taken steps to restrict their use.


As Kevin Rawlinson reports in the Guardian, this could head off widely feared misuse:

The technology firm has told developers that their apps, which would use Apple's "HealthKit" Platform on the forthcoming products, must not sell any personal data they gather to advertisers. The move could stave off concerns users might have around privacy as Apple seeks to move into the health data business.

But the restrictions don't end there. To use the APIs, apps must be focused on delivering health and fitness services. Researchers can access the data provided the user has given consent.

Amazon Opens Zocalo to All AWS Users

Zocalo, Amazon's enterprise document storage and sharing service, has been available in beta for a limited selection of users since June, and is now open to AWS customers. One interesting feature handy for enterprise use is that it integrates with corporate directories, making sign in a snap for employees who can use their existing company credentials. As Stuart Parkerson outlines in App Developer Magazine, there is an API associated with the service:

As part of this move to general availability, Amazon is also announcing that AWS CloudTrail now records calls made to the Zocalo API. This API is currently internal, but they plan to expose it in the future. Developers interested in building applications that work with the Zocalo API, can email the team, who are interested in learning more about the kinds of applications that developers are thinking about building.

In addition to synching with corporate directories and the API, Zocalo has a number of other handy features. These include commonly expected ones such as synching on any device and security--administrators can choose which employees get access. Zocalo also facilitates document feedback where users can comment on documents, and acts as a central hub where all feedback can be reviewed together.

API News You Shouldn't Miss

Be sure to read the next Health article: Human API Says the Time Is Right for Health Data Apps