Ladies, are you ready for this?
Period tracking apps have been sharing your intimate information with Facebook so that they can strategically place targeted ads in front of your eyes, which is not surprising considering the social media platform has been mining user data from other apps and websites for years.
However, through period tracking apps, your ovulation cycle, your use of contraception, the timing of your monthly periods, your symptoms such as swelling and cramps, your sexual practices and other information normally keyed into these apps is compromised in order to refine the tracking process.
This controversy was brought to light by UK-based advocacy group, Privacy International, who shared with BuzzFeed News that they had pin-pointed MIA Fem and Maya to be some of the period tracking apps that are breaching sensitive information about women’s health.
Apparently, the data sharing happens through Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK), which helps app developers implement certain features and aspects in their apps. Data that is keyed into the app is then collected and shared back to Facebook via SDK.
“When Maya asks you to enter how you feel and offers suggestions of symptoms you might have — suggestions like blood pressure, swelling or acne — one would hope this data would be treated with extra care,” the report said. “But no, that information is shared with Facebook.”
Items in your shopping cart is one thing, but intimate details like these are meant to be private.
I guess it’s time to go back to tracking our periods on a physical calendar.
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