Is the menstrual tracker still safe to use?

As a Roe v. Wade case Abortion has been achieved in the United States, and women’s right to abortion has become a hot topic all over the world. Pro Life Camps and Pro Choice Camps have defended their views on both social media and street demonstrations in some countries.

Whatever the woman’s opinion about abortion, most agree that sexuality and reproduction are private issues.

However, the criminalization of abortion raises legitimate concerns about the data privacy of menstrual trackers to a much higher level. Cybersecurity experts warn that the data collected from these apps could impose penalties on those seeking abortion if sold to a subpoena or a third party.

The discussion also notes that sensitive information collected by other health trackers, loyalty apps, and even utility apps can fall into the hands of data brokers.

In the app store An app that puts your privacy at risk.. Recently, various apps that have access to a user’s personal information send or resell it to so-called “data brokers” and sell it to advertisers and, in some cases, other entities and institutions, including law enforcement and intelligence agencies. It became clear. service.

Have you ever noticed that when you open a new website, there is a very short moment when you don’t see the top banner? Then it appears in a blank placeholder or pushes down the content of the page. In that very short moment, the site is negotiating with many advertisers who are bidding in your eyes based on the data collected about you. If that digital and very fast bid was reconstructed as a real auction:

Auctioneer: A middle-aged gay man living in the suburbs of Frankfurt, Germany, engages in marketing, drives a WV passat, has a dog, and goes on vacation to the Far East twice a year.

Thousands of bids are made in a matter of seconds, and the Istanbul Hair Transplant Clinic wins the space. The user will see a banner that they may probably click on.

The information provided by the auctioneer is actually much more than the excerpt above. The algorithm was developed so rapidly that it can even predict buying habits, marriages, divorces and even illnesses.

However, menstrual trackers and other health data apps collect one of the most intimate categories of information about users.

Millions of people use these apps to track their menstrual cycle. The clue claims to have 12 million monthly active users. Claiming to be the most popular menstruation and cycle tracking app, Flo has 43 million active users.

Last year, Flo reached a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission in allegations of misleading users about the disclosure of personal health data. In 2019, the Wall Street Journal revealed that the app notified Facebook when users were menstruating or intending to become pregnant.

Flo did not admit fraud as part of the settlement, but FTC stated that the app must independently review its privacy policy and obtain user permission before sharing personal health information. rice field.

Therefore, risks range from mild privacy issues to actual crimes and prosecutions.

As the length of the app’s privacy policy and user contracts becomes unreadable, users need to consider other ways to protect their privacy, and in the case of the new abortion law, they need to consider the actual freedom.

One of the most practical ways to protect your privacy online is to use a VPN service that can hide your privacy by rerouting your internet connection. Your IP address is your digital ID online and, when used properly, the VPN service will make you anonymous.

Paul Costner
Helsinki Times Is the menstrual tracker still safe to use?

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