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Monday, March 27, 2023

Should you delete apps that track your menstrual period?

Since the US Supreme Court struck down the Roe v. Wade, women across the American union have begun to question whether they should remove period-tracking apps.

Fearing that governments from different states could use the information downloaded in these applications, women are making calls through social networks to stop using these apps, or even use them randomly to feed false information to the database of these programs. 

The short answer to the core question is yes. If you are in a state where abortion is illegal and you plan or contemplate doing so in an emergency, it is best to expunge any records that could be used against you. 

The long answer is: these apps are the least of your problems. 

Our life online

The terrible truth is that we have been feeding the big data monster for years. Our life, memories, photos, thoughts, sleep patterns, movements, etc., are already on the web. It's not just a problem with the apps we feed information about menstrual periods to, everything we type and consume on our devices can be used against us. 

Despite Google has announced that it will delete the information of visits to abortion clinics and other health institutions, the record of travel to states that have not criminalized abortion may be recorded. 

Online shopping is also a latent concern. From pregnancy tests to health items, these digital records can be used to pursue suspected crimes. 

We must also mention messaging applications and different social networks.

The same companies have assured users that they are working to protect their customers' information, but let's not beat around the bush, these companies are required to share your information if the government requests it. 

Unfortunately, if the government asks Google or some social network for information relevant to a crime investigation, they have to give in. 

For Anna Lee Mraz, CEO of this medium, "The application is a powerful technological tool that - I deduce from its operation - uses algorithms and probability to determine cycles or the possibility of pregnancy in menstruating people. I used it to get pregnant. With the information about your symptoms that you provide to the application, it determines your hormonal cycles. I find it grotesque that it is used to persecute people who seek abortion.

discretion and conscience

The setback for women's reproductive rights in the US is a disgrace. This decision will have repercussions on all scales of social, legal, political and reproductive life of women throughout the country. It also forces us to rethink our relationship with apps that collect and request sensitive information from our lives.

And it is not only affecting women, as humans without a uterus we must also be aware of what we share, talk about and publish, because it can be used as evidence. We have an obligation to be discreet in decisions about the health of those around us and to be aware of our role in the event that one of our loved ones is in danger.

Hans Leguízamo. Audio and video coordinator of Peninsula 360 Press. Sociologist and researcher specialized in electronic entertainment, videogames and consumer rights.

You may be interested in: Large U.S. companies to pay travel expenses for employees needing an abortion

Hans Leguízamo
Hans Leguízamo
Audio and video coordinator of Peninsula 360 Press. Sociologist and researcher specialized in electronic entertainment, videogames and consumer rights.


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