Not-So-Private Parts: Popular Period Tracker Apps Are Sharing Sensitive Data With Facebook

- By Bossip Staff

Period Tracker App

Source: Bernard Weil / Getty

Period Tracker Apps Are Sending Millions Of Women’s Data Over To Facebook

A lot of women enlist the help of different apps to track when their time of the month is approaching, but it might not be as private as a lot of us might thing.

It turns out that period tracker apps are actually sending deeply personal information about women’s health and sexual practices over to Facebook, according to new research.

UK-based advocacy group Privacy International shared its findings with BuzzFeed News after having discovered that period-tracking apps–including popular ones like MIA Fem and Maya–sent women’s use of contraception, the timings of their monthly periods, symptoms like swelling and cramps, and more, directly to Facebook.

Millions on women use these apps for a range of purposes, from tracking their period cycles to maximizing their chances of conceiving a child.  The data sharing with Facebook helps app developers incorporate particular features and collect user data, so the social media site can show these women targeted ads, among other things.

According to Buzzfeed, the app also shares data users enter about their use of contraception, the analysis found, as well as their moods. It also asks users to enter information about when they’ve had sex and what kind of contraception they used, and also includes a diarylike section for users to write their own notes. Information which is also shared with Facebook.

Asked about the report, Facebook told the publication that it had gotten in touch with the apps’ Privacy International identified to discuss possible violations of its terms of service, including sending prohibited types of sensitive information.

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