MCH2022 Curated content

Your Data From Period-Tracking Apps May Be Used Against You

Battery 🔋
Barbara Wimmer
Let’s talk about menstruation apps. Most of them are very privacy-invasive, they collect much more data from you that you might think. But it can get really dangerous when you live in the US and use period-tracking apps. This talk gives you an overview about the WY. Plus: Why we need user-centered technology with privacy and encryption.
Apps are convenient. You just download them, use them and and they make your life easier. Most of the time. But most of the apps that are developed have different goals than you might think: And that’s not making your life easier, but grabbing as much data from you as you and sell that data to data brokers and get money out of it. Nothing new, you say? Common practice since years! It’s your own fault using such an app, just stop it! Well, that’s too easy! We need a technology swap. We need user-centered apps, open source, but with privacy and encryption. But let me explain all this to you with an example that is currently in the media and shows how deep and dangerous the problem can become - from one day to another. A draft opinion from the Supreme Court indicates that in the US the constitutional right to an abortion might fall. And here we come to the topic: A lot of people - all around the world - use period-tracking apps. The data that is collected by those apps can be used against them, because the apps know when your last period was, how regular or unregular your menstruation cycle is. Some apps even collect data about you having unprotected sex! Those data can be used against us. In this talk you will learn what data menstruation apps usually collect, how they are financed, what is happening with your data, and what you should be aware of when using those apps. I also talk about alternatives - yes, there are some! Some app developers think further and do provide the right solutions for this problem. Also I draw attention to the question on whether users of these apps in the US who instantly delete the data and the apps from their smartphones are just super-sensitive, or it’s the best decision they can do!

Additional information

Type Short Talk
Language English

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