Are you a woman using a period tracking app? If so, know that information regarding your mood, health, sexual practices, and menstrual cycle might be at high risk of exposure. New research from Privacy International has found that certain period trackers are handing your deeply personal data over to Facebook.
As reported by BuzzFeed News, Privacy International published a research exposing period tracking apps that directly send sensitive information of its users to Facebook. This includes their period schedules, ovulation cycles, use of contraception and more. These deeply personal data is highly coveted by advertisers who want to generate targeted ads based on your information.
Two of the apps highlighted in the report from BuzzFeed are Maya and MIA Fem which have over 5 million and 2 million global users respectively.
So how are these apps sharing your data to the social media giant? Facebook’s Software Development Kit is incorporated into apps to add specific features and collect data among other functions. This means the information you enter into period tracking apps may also be sent to Facebook through the 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,” Privacy International’s report wrote. “But no, that information is shared with Facebook.”
The Mobapp Development Limited developed-Mia Fem has threatened legal action against the UK-based privacy advocates group. While Plackal Tech-owned Maya denied that it shared “ personally identifiable data or medical data.”
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.