Period tracking apps privacy concerns

Period tracking app and its privacy concerns post-Roe vs. Wade Reversal

Period tracking applications collect sensitive data which is in the face of fear now. By gathering data on period duration, symptoms, mood, and pregnancy, they maintain track of your menstrual cycles and forecast fertile windows and status.

Since the Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, users with privacy concerns are now worried that their private information might be used against them if they seek an abortion.

Tens of millions of individuals use period-tracking apps to track their periods, estimate when symptoms may appear, and prepare for conception. Users provide extremely sensitive information into an app, which may not be completely protecting their data.

In the past, data sharing with organizations like Facebook and Google for advertising purposes was the focus of privacy concerns with period-tracking applications.

Following the US Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade and make abortion illegal in 23 states, such worries have grown more pressing.

Abortion laws by state after Roe v. Wade | Fortune
Image Credits : Fortune

It’s likely that, since Roe is overturned, the makers of period-tracking apps could be forced to provide user information to law enforcement officials in some jurisdictions, who will be able to summons the firms for information showing a user had an abortion.

Though popular and undeniably valuable for individuals looking to plan and avoid pregnancy and follow indications of menopause, it’s no secret that the goal of many of these applications. There are over a thousand in the app stores alone that extend well beyond tracking periods. Monitoring menstrual cycles have proven to be a profitable business for developers, with many sharing their customers’ personal information and app activity with third-party marketers and advertising.

In the aftermath of the leaked draft judgment to overturn Roe v. Wade in May, many urged users to remove their period-tracking apps, fearing that the information they gather – and then share – may be used to target and penalize individuals seeking abortions.

Law against Rights!

While the concerns connected with some of these applications’ inadequate privacy have been emphasized in reaction to the apparent plot to overturn Roe v. Wade, the bulk of them aren’t confined to period-tracking apps. Most other applications on your smartphone capture data, including your location, that may be used to identify where you go, who you meet, and what you do. Fortunately, you can disable applications, including period trackers, from gathering and sharing your data on Android and iOS.

It’s impossible to determine whether removing your period-tracking software is the best option, especially because it’s unclear whether all of your history data will be deleted from these developers’ servers as a consequence.

Period-tracking apps should empower users rather than exploit them. Given recent events, we recommend that users who use these apps extend that freedom to their personal security by using apps that allow people to use them without signing up, altering the privacy settings to limit data access, and being aware of the developers’ privacy policies. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the privacy rules of your favorite time-tracking software, many of which appear to have altered in light of the multiple investigations into these companies’ usually careless data-sharing practices.

However, if you’re concerned about your data, privacy, or the possible consequences of using a period tracker, it may be time to deactivate the app and start by writing down your data in your personal diary or journal. 

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