Period-tracker apps work on anonymity following Roe v. Wade ruling

Following the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, many period tracker apps now announce their plans to anonymize user data as privacy concerns grow. 

The judgement which took effect last Friday in Mississippi and expected to pave the way for more restrictions on abortion in other states has led to ongoing protests all over the country. 

Following the decision, social media users also started suggesting each other to remove period tracker apps that hold sensitive information alleging that they could be used to identify them.

Eline Berglund Scherwitzl, the co-founder and co-ceo of one of these apps Natural Cycles, announced that the company is now working on a completely anonymous experience. ”The goal is to make it so no one – not even us at Natural Cycles can identify the user,” said Berglund.  

Another period-tracker app Flo also announced that they are about to launch an anonymous mode which will remove users’ personal data so that they can’t be used to identify them. 

While removing these apps may seem like the solution, experts warn that this may not be the case at all. 

Deleting your app from your phone does not always mean you’ve deleted your data anywhere other than your device,” said Leah Fowler who is a research assistant professor and research director in the Health Law & Policy Institute of the University of Houston. “Sometimes you have to contact an app’s customer-service support team directly to ensure that your historical data has been wiped on the developer’s end.”

Users are recommended to check the privacy policies of the apps they’re using to find out how they can get their data deleted. 

You can contact apps like Flo and Clue via email to ask them to remove your data. If you’re using Natural Cycles, you can contact the company via their website to request the removal of your data. Keep in mind that the removal process could be up to a month. 

Written by Maya Robertson

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