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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The Trump administration finalized a rule Monday that would make it easier for patients to share their health data with apps, hospitals and doctors, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Between the lines: The rule is likely to benefit the growing health data industry, which uses the information to develop health care services. But opponents of the rule argue that it could also create data privacy issues.

What they're saying: Tech companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft — which are all trying to move into the health care space — have generally supported the rule, as have consumer groups that argue it's too difficult for patients to access and share their own health data.

The other side: “There is a legitimate concern that people will be sharing their sensitive health information with organizations that can use and sell that information however they want,” Joy Pritts, a consultant who is a former federal health-privacy official, told WSJ.

What we're watching: The American Hospital Association — which said in a statement yesterday that the rule "fails to protect consumers’ most sensitive information about their personal health" — didn't rule out litigation.

  • “We are working our way through the hundreds of pages of the rule to better understand all the operational implications for our hospitals. We will then pursue changes through the relevant government agencies and channels," AHA senior vice president Ashley Thompson told Axios' Bob Herman.

Go deeper: Big Tech's enormous access to patients' health data

Go deeper

Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Biden delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the Capitol. Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden has delivered his inaugural address at the Capitol, calling for an end to the politics as total war but warning that "we have far to go" to heal the country.

What's next: The Celebrate America event, with remarks by Biden and Harris.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
33 mins ago - Politics & Policy

President Biden faces a deeply broken America

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As President Biden begins his term in office today, he'll be tasked with leading a country beset with deep, long-term problems.

Why it matters: Though the pandemic has made them worse, existential challenges around inequality, social alienation and political division in the U.S. were in place well before SARS-CoV-2 arrived on American shores. The country's future will depend in large part on whether the choices made over the next four years can flatten the curve of American decline.

Facebook, Instagram transfer accounts, followers to Biden administration

Screenshot of official White House Facebook account.

Facebook on Wednesday confirmed that it is transferring the millions of followers of the official Facebook and Instagram White House accounts to the Biden administration.

Details: The accounts for "@POTUS," "@VicePresident" ("@VP" on Instagram) and "@FLOTUS" are having the followers from their personal Pages and accounts be transferred over. It's unclear when that transition process will be complete.