In a post roe worldNow that abortion is illegal and restricted in most states, Americans have become concerned about the privacy protections provided by your favorite period and pregnancy apps. It seems that the concern is justified, since a mozilla report has found that the most popular cycle tracker apps do not protect their users’ privacy at all.
Researchers from the Mozilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization best known for the Firefox browser now working to promote an open Internet, looked at 25 reproductive health apps and wearable devices that could collect sensitive data and share it with third parties, and that includes authorities who can use it to prosecute people who cross state lines to seek abortions. The report found that most of those apps, 18 of them, were unclear about what data they would share with law enforcement and when.
Apps that raised those red flags include Clue, Flo, Glow, and Maya Period, Fertility, Ovulation, & Pregnancy. To give you some context on its popularity, Clue was downloaded over 10 million times from the Google Play Store, while Flo was downloaded 50 million times; Glow has been downloaded over 1 million times; and Maya was downloaded 5 million times.
“Best practices for privacy by design and by default have been around for a while, but most major reproductive health apps chose to ignore them,” researcher Misha Rykov said in a statement. “This is scary when even baseline security is shaky on apps used by millions of women after Roe vs. Wade.”
Two of the period tracker apps that passed the privacy test are Euki Y Natural Cycles. The coolest part about Euki is that if you don’t want anyone to see your data on demand, you type “0000” and it will show a fake screen. As for wearables, Mozilla found five of them safe to wear, including the Apple Watch, Oura Ring, Whoop Strap, and models from Fitbit and Garmin. Apple has an excellent track record of denying data requests from law enforcement.