Period-Tracking Apps and Data Privacy Concerns

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While period-tracking apps can be helpful for tracking fertility and symptoms, the overturning of Roe v. Wade raises concerns around data privacy. Cycle-tracking apps aren’t subjected to privacy guidelines, such as HIPAA, and thus can be subpoenaed in states with restrictive abortion laws and policies. When choosing a period-tracking app, it is important to consider data privacy.

“When users install period-tracking apps and start logging their cycles, they agree to a certain loss of privacy. After all, they have to hand over some information for the apps to effectively predict future cycles, estimate ovulation windows and help monitor their period symptoms. Most users expect that data to remain private, but there’s no guarantee. Most period-tracking apps collect data that can then be shared with advertisers… Anything that could be shared with advertisers can be shared with law enforcement.”