Period Calendar Period Tracker

Warning: *privacy not included with this product

Period Calendar Period Tracker

Review date: Aug. 9, 2022

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Super creepy

This app is confusing. Well, maybe the app itself isn't confusing, but trying to work out who makes this app and what their privacy policy is, yeah, that's confusing. Which doesn't bode too well for an app with over 100 million downloads in the Google Play store alone. This app is either made by a company called Simple Design or a company called Abishkking, or perhaps both. The websites are the same stock-photo-filled basic sites with different names. Good luck finding a privacy policy anywhere on either one of them though. To scavenge for the privacy policy you'll have to go the app page on the Google or Apple apps stores. And even then, you end up in different places. There's the privacy policy linked on the Google Play store, and then the Apple App store actually links to two different privacy policies. Like we said, confusing.

Confusion aside, what does this app do? Well, it says it can track and predict your period, ovulation, and fertility window, tell you your chance of getting pregnant every day, and record intimacy, and "and everything about women who try to conceive, pregnant, or birth control." We're not exactly sure what all that everything is, but it sure sounds like it's collecting a whole lot of very personal information. So, how does it look from a privacy perspective? Well, again, we'd say, kinda confusing and probably not too good.

What could happen if something goes wrong?

We ding this app for a number of reasons. First, they do collect a whole lot of very personal information. And although they say they won't share the personal information you track in the app, they do say they can share personal information about your visits to the app with third parties for marketing and interest-based advertising. That's not great. Advertisers might not know when your period is or how long, but they can tell you're using this period tracking app and your location and more. You probably don't want that.

We also ding this app because while they say they don't sell your personal information, they clearly state in their privacy policy that some of the service providers they partner with might sell it. "We do not sell personal information. However, the Service Providers we partner with (for example, our advertising partners) may use technology on the Service that "sells" personal information as defined by the CCPA law." In fact, In May, 2022 a reporter for Motherboard found data for sale on a data broker site including data related to this app. That's not good at all.

This app earns a third privacy ding from us because we could find no clear rights for all users to access and delete their data. We strongly feel, especially with apps that track period and pregnancy information, that all users should be able to easily access and delete all their data at any time. This is quite important in the post-Roe vs Wade world the US lives in now.

What else worries us about this app? Well, users should know that by registering to use the app or creating a profile, you have given this company consent to use your data for all manner of things, including sharing with third parties for targeted advertising and sharing with service providers who might be able to sell you information.

Oh, and how does the company say they handle law enforcement requests for your data? Well, that's addressed in their privacy policy with the rather vague line, "Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency)." For a company that appears to be quite small, and we're even confused about which company actually makes this app, we don't get the sense they would be able to fight back against law enforcement requests for personal data on their users. Which, again, in the post-Roe vs Wade world in the US, is another concern for us.

What's the worst that could happen? Oh man, the potential scenarios feel scary. It does seem possible that a women could download and use the app. Have her very personal, private period history tracked. Some third party service provider could gather some bits of this information that could then be sold and end up in the hands of data brokers. Someone else could purchase that data and learn about a device ID, location, and other information about that user. Potentially combine that data with other data the includes device ID and location and learn the woman's identity. And from there, it could only get worse. This is a scenario, we don't know if it could happen. But we think potential users of this app should be aware that it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Tips to protect yourself

  • If you are California resident, opt out of selling of your data. If you are not from California, better find another app.
  • Do not give access to your contacts, files and media
  • Do not give consent for the app to access data about your health and activities from third-party services such as Apple HealthKit and Google Fit.
  • Better do not sign in to the app (as login is available via Google account only). If you have already logged in, you can remove access in your Google Account.
  • 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 camera, microphone, images and videos)
  • 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.
mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: N/A

App: No

Microphone

Device: N/A

App: No

Tracks location

Device: N/A

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

Google account sign-in possible

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

We ding this product because it says it may share information with third parties for targeted advertising purposes and for sharing with services that might sell your data.

"We do not sell personal information. However, the Service Providers we partner with (for example, our advertising partners) may use technology on the Service that "sells" personal information as defined by the CCPA law."

"We may share Your personal information with Service Providers to monitor and analyze the use of our Service, to show advertisements to You to help support and maintain Our Service, to advertise on third party websites to You after You visited our Service, for payment processing, to contact You."

"We may use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit the Application. These companies may use information about your visits to the app that are contained in cookies in order to optimize the performance of the marketing campaigns and provide ads about goods and services of interest to you. We NEVER shares any data you are tracking in the app (e.g. when you get your Personal Data) with third-Party Advertisers."

"As your consent at the registration screen, we may import into the App Personal data about your health and activities from third-party services such as Apple HealthKit and Google Fit. The imported Personal data may include: weight, body temperature, calories burnt, heartbeat rate, number of steps/distance traveled, and other data about your health. We will handle any such third-party information in accordance with this Privacy Policy."

"We may share Your information with Our affiliates, in which case we will require those affiliates to honor this Privacy Policy. Affiliates include Our parent company and any other subsidiaries, joint venture partners or other companies that We control or that are under common control with Us."

How the company says they may share data with law enforcement:
"Under certain circumstances, the Company may be required to disclose Your Personal Data if required to do so by law or in response to valid requests by public authorities (e.g. a court or a government agency)."

How can you control your data?

There is no contact provided in the Privacy Policy for data deletion that could be used by all users. For California residents, the app says "You also have the right to request the deletion of Your Personal Data that have been collected in the past 12 months." For Europe residents, GDPR deletion rights are stated. However, no contact to exercise deletion rights is provided.

You can chose to delete your data via app setting "delete my data."

"The Company will retain Your Personal Data only for as long as is necessary for the purposes set out in this Privacy Policy. We will retain and use Your Personal Data to the extent necessary to comply with our legal obligations (for example, if we are required to retain your data to comply with applicable laws), resolve disputes, and enforce our legal agreements and policies.

The Company will also retain Usage Data for internal analysis purposes. Usage Data is generally retained for a shorter period of time, except when this data is used to strengthen the security or to improve the functionality of Our Service, or We are legally obligated to retain this data for longer time periods."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.

Child Privacy Information

The Service does not address anyone under the age of 13. They do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 13. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that Your child has provided the app with Personal Data, please contact them. If the app become aware that they have collected Personal Data from anyone under the age of 13 without verification of parental consent, they take steps to remove that information from their servers.

Can this product be used offline?

Yes

User-friendly privacy information?

No

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

N/A

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

No


News

Data Marketplace Selling Info About Who Uses Period Tracking Apps
Vice
A data marketplace called Narrative, which lets anyone sign up and purchase information related to the users of specific apps near-instantly, has been offering data from users who it says downloaded period tracking apps, including some of the most popular period tracking apps such as Clue.
The data flows: How private are popular period tracker apps?
Surfshark
Nobody really wants to keep track of their periods in their minds or a wall calendar, which makes period trackers really popular. But are they tracking more than menstrual cycles? To find that out, we took a look at 20 period tracking apps popular in the US and compared their data collection practices.
Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade: Should you delete your period-tracking app?
TechCrunch
Though popular, and undoubtedly a useful tool for those who want to plan and avoid pregnancy and track signs of menopause, it’s no secret that the objective of many of these apps — of which there are more than a thousand in the app stores alone — go far beyond that of tracking periods. Monitoring menstrual cycles has proven to be a lucrative business for developers, many of which share users’ personal information and activity on the apps with third-party marketers and advertisers.

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