Period tracking apps have entered the line of fire over their data practices as the US considers overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that enabled women to have unrestricted abortions.
The war over digital privacy continues as period tracking apps collect a lot more personal data than they should. Add to that the possibility of abortion restrictions in the US, and we have a privacy disaster waiting to happen. If seeking to have an abortion becomes illegal, the authorities could use the data from your period tracking app against you.
Tech companies and developers gather data from their users without much oversight. Third parties like law enforcement agencies can also acquire it relatively quickly with a warrant and marketers can simply buy it.
If you’re a woman currently living in the US, you may want to take extra steps to protect your digital identity and consider using alternative period tracking methods.
What Data Do Period Tracking Apps Collect?
Period tracking apps help women log menstruation cycles and predict their fertility periods. Women can use these apps to record data like the start of their period, flow levels, sexual activity, medication they take, and symptoms, but they also do much more than that.
According to an investigation by Privacy International, it turns out that popular period tracking apps like Clue and Flo log a lot more information than you’d expect — and they also share their data with third parties. In addition to menstruation-related data, they also track your location and encourage you to reveal private information about masturbation frequency, how often you drink water, possible diseases, cravings, moods, and so much more.
As you may have guessed, the information you share isn’t just between you and the app. The Privacy International investigation also reveals that apps share your private data with third parties like Amazon, Google, Cloudflare, and other companies.
So what does this mean for you and millions of other users? Your privacy is at risk and your personal information can be used against you.
Your Period Data Might Incriminate You
Everything depends on the Supreme Court’s ruling and the implementation of abortion-related state laws.
In the worst case, government authorities will get and use the data from the period tracking apps to identify abortion providers and seekers. Don’t forget that, in a lot of jurisdictions, law enforcement can use warrants to compel companies to release the data they have on you.
Additionally, your email and social media accounts connected with the data can also be used against you. The authorities can learn everything about you because of these apps and find a way to incriminate you.
The worst-case scenario sounds frightening and downright dystopian, but the best case (or the present) isn’t that much better. Currently, your private information is traded and sold to any corporation willing to buy it. Marketers and advertisers breach your privacy and use you to sell their products and services.
Reduce the flow of data and protect yourself under the shield of privacy. Stop using period tracking apps and start using a reliable VPN for extra security.
How to Protect Your Data and Privacy
Stop using any period tracking app immediately. If you don’t want companies and other third parties to know so much about you, use alternative methods of tracking your menstruation and fertility cycles. All you need is a thermometer, a calendar, and a spreadsheet (or pen and paper) and you can keep your private data to yourself.
That said, companies and agencies have a lot more ways of collecting your data. Many browsers and search engines track everything you do online. Data breaches are also a common problem. You never know who gets their hands on your data, so start doing everything you can to protect your privacy.
Protect your privacy with CyberGhost VPN. Connect to our network of over 8000 servers and hide your IP from trackers and government agencies. Keep your real location hidden and browse the web without worrying about anyone snooping around. Your connection will be heavily encrypted with military-grade 256-bit AES encryption standards that are almost impossible to penetrate.
Leave a comment