Flo, one of the most widely used period tracking apps, says it intends to release a new one in an attempt to address concerns about privacy following the Supreme Court’s annulment decision Rowe vs. Wade. “We will soon launch Anonymous Mode, which removes your personal identity from your Flo account so that no one can identify you,” the company said in a statement on Twitter.
It is not clear how this will work or when it may start. We contacted Flo for more details on “anonymous mode”.
Period tracking applications have become particularly important even after the repeal of a draft opinion Rowe vs. Wade had expired last month. Privacy advocates and legal experts have these data collected from period tracking applications, which are often shared with other entities, can be used to feed investigations of people seeking abortion services. The news of the Supreme Court’s decision led to renewed calls on social media for people to delete tracking applications from their phones and remove their personal data from the services.
In particular, Flo itself has a confused history when it comes to protecting consumer privacy. The app came under fire after that The Wall Street Journal reported that the app shares sensitive information with users, including details about their menstrual cycles and whether they are trying to conceive, with Facebook, Google and other third parties.
The company has reached with the Federal Trade Commission in 2021 for allegations that it misleads consumers about how their data is processed. Flo said at the time that the agreement “is not a recognition of any violations.” The company said in in May that he had “successfully completed” an independent confidentiality audit, which was a requirement of the agreement.
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