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This is why women in the US are deleting their period tracking apps

The period-tracking apps have helped make women’s lives easier in many ways, from family planning to detecting early signs of health issues.

June 29, 2022 / 07:29 PM IST
Period-tracking apps are hugely popular in the US and according to a 2019 survey, nearly a third of American women have been using them. (Representational image)

Period-tracking apps are hugely popular in the US and according to a 2019 survey, nearly a third of American women have been using them. (Representational image)


Melissa, a 27-year-old mother from Texas deleted her period-tracker app few days after the US Supreme Court overturned its landmark Roe vs Wade judgment. She was not alone.


The landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling had recognised a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and the recent judgment ended the  constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.


But here's why the decision triggered women to delete their period tracking apps-- Melissa said she is afraid that when she travels, her state could use her missed period data against her.


“I will miss using the app so much. I have used it for so many things, like tracking my ovulation or predicting my mood changes. Sometimes I wake up feeling irritable, and I don’t know why until my app tells me that this could be normal at this point of my cycle,” she added. Melissa also says she would have loved to use it for future conceptions, but now she can’t.

According to The Guardian, women, especially in Republican-ruled states, are concerned because these apps collect and share user data. This information could be collected and used by prosecutors for building a case against someone who had an abortion.

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Read more: US Supreme Court ends constitutional protections for abortion

Sara Spector, a Texas-based criminal defence attorney, and ex-prosecutor, told The Guardian, “If they are trying to prosecute a woman for getting an illegal abortion, they can subpoena any app on their device, including period trackers."

"But every company has their individual storage and privacy policy about how they use and how long they store data," she added.

Period-tracking apps are hugely popular in the US and according to a 2019 survey, nearly a third of American women have been using them, The Guardian reported.

The apps have helped make women’s lives easier in many ways, from family planning to detecting early signs of health issues, the report stated. It added that two of the most popular period trackers in the US--Flo and Clue--have more than 55 million users combined.

Read more: Roe v. Wade overturning: Singers Olivia Rodrigo, Lilly Allen sing ‘F*** you’ to SC judges | Watch

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood--a nonprofit organization that provides sexual health care in the US--has encouraged people to use their app Spot On to keep their data anonymous.

“People who want to track their periods and birth control always have the option to remain anonymous by using the Spot On app without creating an account,” the organization said in a statement. “This way, period or birth control data is only saved locally to a person’s phone and can be deleted at any time by deleting the app.”
Moneycontrol News
first published: Jun 29, 2022 07:23 pm
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