Flo stated it will add an “nameless mode” to its interval monitoring app as customers raised considerations about information privateness within the wake of the Supreme Court docket’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In a tweet on Friday, the corporate stated it will quickly launch an choice that may permit customers to trace their menstrual cycles with out offering some figuring out info.
“We’ll do the whole lot in our energy to guard the info and privateness of our customers,” Flo stated in another tweet. “We’re engaged on a brand new characteristic known as nameless mode so customers can entry the Flo app anonymously with out offering their identify or e mail tackle.”
WHY IT MATTERS
After a draft opinion of the Supreme Court docket’s resolution leaked in early Could, some experts argued the info collected in interval monitoring apps may very well be used to construct a case in opposition to customers in states the place abortion is now unlawful.
Nonetheless, privateness surrounding girls’s well being apps is not a brand new concern. A review published in JMIR analyzing femtech apps discovered 20 out of 23 shared information with third events, and solely 16 displayed a privateness coverage. In the meantime, three apps started gathering information earlier than acquiring consent from customers.
One other analysis by cybersecurity and VPN company Surfshark discovered 9 of 20 fashionable interval monitoring apps shared information for promoting functions, and 10 collected coarse location information, which might’t be tracked to a precise tackle however can supply extra approximate location info.
In the meantime, Flo has confronted blowback over information sharing previously. In early 2021, it settled with the Federal Trade Commission concerning a criticism alleging improper disclosure of delicate person information to third-party advertising and marketing and analytics companies from Fb, Google and others.
The corporate stated the FTC settlement was not an act of contrition, and it has since undergone a privateness audit that “didn’t establish any materials gaps or weaknesses in Flo’s privateness practices.”
THE LARGER TREND
Different interval monitoring apps have additionally launched statements concerning their privateness insurance policies within the wake of the Roe resolution. Stardust, an app that mixes interval monitoring with monitoring planetary our bodies just like the moon and planets, stated it should quickly supply end-to-end encryption in an announcement posted to its TikTok page.
Berlin-based Clue stated it employs de-identified information when used for analysis functions and shares as little info as doable when it really works with outdoors service suppliers.
“Your personally identifiable well being information concerning pregnancies, being pregnant loss or abortion is stored non-public and secure,” co-CEOs Carrie Walter and Audrey Tsang stated in an announcement in Could.
“We don’t promote it, we don’t share it for anybody else’s use, we cannot disclose it. We’re ruled by the world’s strictest privateness legal guidelines (the European GDPR), and we make investments a whole lot of time and expense in ensuring we adjust to them.”