: ‘Deleting this app right now!’ Are period-tracking apps safe to use in a post-Roe world?

by | Jul 5, 2022 | Stock Market

Check your privacy settings. And think carefully about your choice of period-tracking app. Last Friday, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that gave women federal legal protection to have an abortion. It will now be up to each state to set their own laws on abortion. 

Some 13 U.S. states have “trigger laws” to immediately ban abortion, while a similar number will either ban or severely restrict abortion in the coming weeks and months. Ultimately, an estimated 40 million women nationwide lose access to abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a public-health think tank that supports abortion access. Following the decision, women have expressed concerns and fears on social media about menstruation data logged in their period-tracking apps, and some apps have acknowledged that they may be forced to hand over data if required to do so by a court order or a subpoena. The concern is that information about a woman’s menstrual cycle could be used as evidence against her if she seeks to terminate a pregnancy after a state’s deadline for a legal abortion. After users input their period data, these apps can track women’s ovulation cycles and make recommendations to help with birth control planning. Women living in states where abortion is effectively outlawed fear that companies could hand over their personal information. Gina Neff, professor of technology and sociology at Oxford Uni …

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