Your period tracker app could be sharing when you last had sex with Facebook
11 September 2019, 17:26
A recent study found that tracking apps are sending private data straight to Facebook.
We've become completely reliant on our phones to help us get through our daily lives and nothing is more helpful than our period tracking app. Not only can you track your period, obviously, it can forecast when your next period is going to start, when you're ovulating and record your symptoms.
However, there's something a little sinister going on behind the scenes that we don't know about. Apparently, these apps are forwarding our private data onto Facebook, Buzzfeed reports.
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Now, if you remember the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal, you'll know Facebook has a history of being sneaky with our data. But a recent study by Privacy International found that apps like Maya, MIA, My Period Tracker, Ovulation Calculator and Mi Calendario allegedly shared user's data with Facebook and other third-parties. Yikes.
"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 reads. "But no, that information is shared with Facebook." That means Facebook could know our body measurements, our mood swings, diet, and even when we last had sex…awks.
Once Facebook has your data it means they can tailor ads to your specific needs. For example, if you enter that you're in a particular mood on the app, Facebook could pick up on that and deliver an appealing ad when you're more likely to splash the cash.
A Facebook spokesperson has now released a statement and claimed that they have been in contact with the apps Privacy International called out to "discuss possible violations of its terms of service".
"We have systems in place to detect and delete certain types of data such as Social Security Numbers, passwords, and her personal data, such as email or phone number," they said. "We have begun looking at ways to improve our system and products to detect and filter out more types of potentially sensitive data."
In case you don't want to get spied on, apparently apps like Clue and Flo don't forward your data to Facebook – phew.