Apps

Should You Delete Your Period Tracking App?

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Millions of women around the world use period-tracking apps to better understand their bodies and track their ovulatory cycles, but concerns about the privacy of data around them have grown since the restriction of access to abortion in the United States. the United States.

Period tracking apps have become extremely popular in recent years for users eager to take advantage of the health benefits they can provide. The popular app Flo has more than 50 million downloads on the Google Play Store, while competitor Clue has more than 10 million. And Apple has had its own period tracking app available for iPhone and Apple Watch customers since 2019. But should users uninstall these apps now?

Data Privacy Concerns

In recent years, time-tracking apps have built up a bad reputation when it comes to data protection. In January 2021, Flo reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) after being accused of sharing personal user data with third parties, including Facebook and Google.

According to a 2019 study by The Wall Street Journal, the tracking app informed Facebook “when a user was on their period or notified the app of an intention to become pregnant,” even if the user was not connected to the social media site. .

A similar settlement was reached in 2020 with the time-tracking app Glow, which was fined $250,000 for “serious privacy and basic security flaws.” TechCrunch also discovered that app Stardust was sharing users’ phone numbers with a third party, and was also forced to withdraw its “end-to-end encryption” claims.

Flo admitted no violations within the settlement and insists it does not share health data with third parties, but the settlement has nonetheless “raised doubts about the app’s privacy practices,” Grazia said.

Na Roe vs Wade

Data privacy concerns have only increased for many in the United States after the overturning of the groundbreaking abortion rights legislation Roe vs Wade, which made abortion illegal in 23 states.

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