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New Study Reveals Serious Privacy Concerns in Period Tracking Apps

Around half a century of progress regarding women’s rights to their own bodies was undone after a highly controversial Supreme Court decision repealed the Roe v Wade statute and allowed states to set their own abortion laws. This has raised a host of issues for women, and many of these issues spill out into the tech world as well with all things having been considered and taken into account. One of the riskiest apps for women to use are period trackers, and a new study by Atlas VPN revealed just how insecure they can be.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that period tracking apps get access to some of the most private data regarding women. Popular period tracking apps have anywhere from 5 to 25 data trackers within them, and that raises a lot of concerns regarding the privacy of the women that are using them.

Additionally, these period tracking apps often sell their data to third parties because of the fact that this is the sort of thing that could potentially end up allowing these third parties to advertise to women accordingly. The main issue here is that the government could potentially purchase this data by acting as a third party, and that would allow them to keep track of which women have missed their periods.

A missed period does not automatically mean that someone is pregnant, but in spite of the fact that this is the case the current political climate in the US does not appear to be based on logic. With the constitutional protections surrounding abortion now removed, and increasingly harsh penalties for abortions being implemented in half of the states in the US, data that shows a missed period could be used to prosecute women if they don’t give birth after.

Period tracking apps on iOS have more trackers than Android, but Android apps generally ask for a lot more permissions. That means that any app that women use that tracks their period will put them at risk and should be avoided.


Read next: What are the top trending gaming apps for kids? And how gaming applications are gathering kids' data?

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