Menstrual cycle tracking apps to abolish abortion rights, anonymize user information

Protests against abortion rights in California

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(San Francisco = Yonhap News) Correspondent Jeong Seong-ho = The daily Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 26th that after the US Supreme Court’s ruling that abolished women’s right to abortion under the Constitution, developers of women’s menstrual cycle tracking applications (applications) began anonymizing user information. (local time) reported.

According to the WSJ, millions of women use ‘Flo’, ‘Clue’ or Apple’s ‘Health’ app to plan or avoid pregnancy or to track their next menstrual cycle, according to the WSJ.

However, after the Supreme Court ruling, it is pointed out that sensitive data held by these apps can be used against women who use the app in states where abortion may become illegal.

Combining various digital traces, including information that can be extracted from cycle tracking apps, can create detailed user profiles, according to legal experts.

As a result, these app developers are looking for ways to anonymize user data. From the outset, we will not collect specific information related to users.

Natural Cycles, the first birth control app approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said it was working on a completely anonymized experience for users.

“The goal is to make sure that even we can’t figure out who you are,” Natural Cycles said, as a technical challenge.

Flo also said it plans to release an ‘anonymous mode’ feature soon. Users can delete personal information from their flow account through this function.

Lee Fowler, director of the University of Houston Health Law and Policy Institute, argued that menstruation data had been used in government investigations before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

There have been many suggestions on social media to delete menstrual cycle tracking apps after the Supreme Court ruling, but that’s not the right treatment, Fowler said.

This is because even if you delete the app, data on other than your device may still be there.

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