Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Glow & Eve by Glow
Glow's two period/fertility/sex tracking apps say they give you things like a period tracker, sex & health log, fertility calendar, health log, sex quizzes, PMS symptom and mood tracking, ovulation calendar, community forums, and more. That's a whole lot of personal, sensitive health data they collect to help users get pregnant, not get pregnant, or just know more about their reproductive health. So, does Glow glow when it comes to protecting their users' privacy? Not exactly. Heck, not even close.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Uhg, Glow. This will not be a glowing review because Glow raises a whole lot of privacy concerns for us. Where to start?
There's the big old bunch of trouble they got into back in 2020 after Consumer Reports found lots of problems with Glow's privacy and security. And then California settled with them in a case where they were allegedly failing to "adequately safeguard health information," "allowed access to user's information without the user's consent," and had security problems that "could have allowed third parties to reset user account passwords and access information in those accounts without user consent." Very very bad.
What's the worst that could happen with Glow? Way too much, we're afraid. We'd say this product comes with *Privacy Not Included and recommend you look elsewhere for a privacy protecting period and fertility tracking app. We just don't believe users can or should trust Glow to respect and protect their privacy, no matter what the company states on Twitter or in a press response.
Tips to protect yourself
- Enable multi-factor authentication to protect your account
- In the app settings under "Personal privacy security and data" make sure to uncheck the box for "Internet-based ads."
- Do not connect Samsung Health, GoogleFit or Apple Health or other wearables to the app.
- Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass, etc.
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your precise location, camera, microphone, images and videos, other files).
- Keep your app regularly updated.
- Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization).
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device does not erase your personal data.
Device: Can’t Determine
Device: Can’t Determine
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email address, date of birth and mobile phone number, location (e.g., city, state, country), precise geolocation (if you allow), ethnicity, gender, relationship status, interests, preferred language, occupation and insurance type.
"Information about your physical attributes, sexual orientation, fertility, pregnancy, sexual activity, menstrual activity, sleep activity, mood, health conditions, medications, and number of children. If you connect, body-related data collected through your mobile health apps, such as Apple HealthKit, Samsung Health, Google Fit, MyFitnessApp, which may include any information you chose to store in those apps, subject to your preferences for those apps. "
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In 2020, California settled with Glow app over alleged violations of California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (“CMIA”), the Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”), and the False Advertising Law (“FAL”). In addition to a $250,000 civil penalty, the settlement included injunctive terms that require Glow to comply with state consumer protection and privacy laws, and a first-ever injunctive term that requires Glow to consider how privacy or security lapses may uniquely impact women.
The Attorney General's complaint alleged the Glow app:
- Failed to adequately safeguard health information;
- Allowed access to user’s information without the user’s consent; and
- Additional security problems with the app's password change function could have allowed third parties to reset user account passwords and access information in those accounts without user consent.
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Glow predicts women's chance/risk of pregnancy with machine-learning technology.
Is this AI untrustworthy?
What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?
Perceived chance to get pregnant
Is the company transparent about how the AI works?
Does the user have control over the AI features?
Got a comment? Let us hear it.