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Period-tracking apps may share your data

The Personal Data You Enter Into Period Trackers And Other Health Apps May Not Be As Private As You Think
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-18 17:43:24-04

BALTIMORE  — Abortion rights are also a concern this election season.

Part of that concern right now involves apps that track your period and the data those apps may be forced to share.

Today, we spoke with information security experts at Johns Hopkins University.

They say you should be concerned, because those apps, like everything on our phones, keep a lot of our data.

"It's kind of a digital trail of breadcrumbs of our activities, and even who we are. And so, when legal issues arise, it turns out that those breadcrumbs can be used against us," said Anton Dahbura.

Anton Dahbura is Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute.

He says the issue isn't necessarily with the apps themselves, but with how smartphones work.

He says even if you delete the app, data may be left on our phones.

That fact, he adds, makes all apps suspect.

"Just because we delete a file, doesn't mean that the information is gone," said Dahbura. "The bits are there, you can retrieve my old emails, my old messages, my old word files, my old and things that absolutely, and other programs leave behind as well."

Dahbura adds you should only focus on these types of data concerns on activities with legal implications.

If you're simply concerned about privacy protections, he says so long as you're following good safety practices, you should be okay.