Health

Interval monitoring app Flo says it would add ‘nameless mode’ after Roe resolution



Flo mentioned it might 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 resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In a tweet on Friday, the corporate mentioned it might quickly launch an possibility that may enable customers to trace their menstrual cycles with out offering some figuring out info.

“We are going to do the whole lot in our energy to guard the information and privateness of our customers,” Flo mentioned in one other tweet. “We’re engaged on a brand new function known as nameless mode so customers can entry the Flo app anonymously with out offering their title or e mail deal with.”

WHY IT MATTERS

After a draft opinion of the Supreme Court docket’s resolution leaked in early Might, some specialists argued the information collected in interval monitoring apps might be used to construct a case in opposition to customers in states the place abortion is now unlawful.

Nevertheless, privateness surrounding ladies’s well being apps is not a brand new concern. A evaluation revealed 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 accumulating information earlier than acquiring consent from customers.

One other evaluation by cybersecurity and VPN firm Surfshark discovered 9 of 20 well-liked interval monitoring apps shared information for promoting functions, and 10 collected coarse location information, which may’t be tracked to a precise deal with however can provide extra approximate location info.

In the meantime, Flo has confronted blowback over information sharing up to now. In early 2021, it settled with the Federal Commerce Fee concerning a grievance alleging improper disclosure of delicate consumer information to third-party advertising and marketing and analytics companies from Fb, Google and others. 

The corporate mentioned the FTC settlement was not an request for forgiveness, and it has since undergone a privateness audit that “didn’t determine 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, mentioned it would quickly provide end-to-end encryption in an announcement posted to its TikTok web page

Berlin-based Clue mentioned it employs de-identified information when used for analysis functions and shares as little info as potential when it really works with exterior service suppliers. 

“Your personally identifiable well being information concerning pregnancies, being pregnant loss or abortion is stored personal and secure,” co-CEOs Carrie Walter and Audrey Tsang mentioned in an announcement in Might. 

“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 plenty of time and expense in ensuring we adjust to them.”





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