About half of the period-tracking apps have studied the data used or shared for third party advertising, According to the analysis of cybersecurity and VPN company Surfshark.
The review examined 20 popular apps from the Apple App Store and ranked each app based on the amount and sensitivity of the information they collected. For example, an app receives one point for collected data that is not linked to the user’s identity, such as app crash information, and three points for data that can track users across other websites, such as user ID. This has added points for data collection for third party advertising.
Has shared nine data for ads, while collecting 10 bold locations, which cannot be tracked to the exact address, but can provide more approximate location information. Eight apps have collected photo and video library data.
Overall, the analysis ranked Eve, Glow and Ovia the highest among the most potentially sensitive data they collected, with Apple’s Cycle Tracking and Life app having the lowest.
Why it matters
The cybersecurity firm says its review shows that most of this data is not necessary for apps to work, as low-ranking apps still work for users.
“Many users agree to share their personal information without knowing where their data will end up,” said Agneska Sablovskaza, a data researcher at Surfshark, in a statement.
“Our study found that 17 out of 20 period-tracker apps collected one or both health data or sensitive information, including a woman’s reproductive health or pregnancy information. Technology companies and apps may share this data with third-party advertisers. Data brokers or even government agencies. It is very important to do research before downloading anything on your phone as it can be more harmful than helpful. “
Concerns about the privacy and security of women’s health apps have grown in recent weeks Leaked leaked Supreme Court opinion will overturn Rowe v. Wade. Some security experts have raised concerns that the data collected in period-tracking apps could be used to punish anyone considering possible abortions.