Period tracking apps: why US women are deleting them.

According to women’s advocates across the US, many are concerned anything and everything will be used against them if they’re found to have had an abortion deemed illegal in the state it was performed in. And period trackers could play a part in that equation.

If legal cases against people who have had an abortion go ahead, then a person’s search history, location data and period tracking apps could all assist the prosecution.

And if abortion is criminalised in certain states, some period-tracking apps based in the US could potentially have little choice but to share their customers’ most personal data if subpoenaed.

Some of the most popular apps on the market include Flo, Stardust, Natural Cycles and Clue.

As for Flo, things are a bit complicated.

They’re a US-based company, and in their terms and conditions on ‘how we use your personal data’, it lists legal obligation as one of their conditions.

In a statement this week, Flo has urged users that they “do not share health data with any third party”. But privacy isn’t a new concern when it comes to period tracking apps, especially for Flo.

Flo – which has around 43 million active users worldwide – faced legal action after the Federal Trade Commission alleged the app shared sensitive user data with third parties for advertising purposes, Insider reported.

It reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, and in this case, the Wall Street Journal found that Flo was informing Facebook every time its users indicated they had their period or were wanting to get pregnant. Flo did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement.

Source: Period tracking apps: why US women are deleting them.

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