Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Review date: Aug. 9, 2022
The apt, if rather boring, named period tracking app Period Tracker claims to be "the easiest way to track your periods!" We don't know about that. We do know they app lets you track your period, know your fertility window, let's you track things like mood, symptoms, and intimacy. And the app comes with a disclaimer in the app store that says, "Disclaimer: Period Tracker period and fertility forecasts may not be accurate and should not be used to prevent unwanted pregnancy." So there's that.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
On that front they say, "We work with advertisers and third party advertising networks, who need to know how you interact with advertising provided in the Application which helps us keep the cost of the Application low. Advertisers and advertising networks use some of the information collected by the Application, including, but not limited to, the unique advertising ID of your mobile device. Data directly inputted by users (ie., periods, notes, email, account info, etc) is not shared with advertisers." So, it seems Period Tracker does share some data with advertisers, but many not things like when your period starts or what your mood is. Still, they do share data with advertisers to target you with ads, which we don't love.
And Period Tracker does say they will share data with law enforcement, but their statement of when and why they do that is a little too vague for our comfort. We would love to see them state clearly that they only share data when required by law enforcement through subpoena and not leave any open questions that they might share data with law enforcement through voluntary disclosure, which we here at Mozilla don't like as a policy.
Tips to protect yourself
- Do not register for the app if you do not want your email collected
- Follow these instructions to delete all past information from the app.
- Add an app passcode if your device might end up in the wrong hands
- 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.
Can it snoop on me?
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Email address, if you chose to register
Contacts, if you allow access to them
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?
No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.
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?
Managed to sign up with "1111" as a password
Congress to Investigate Data Brokers and Period Tracking AppsVice
Consumers swap period tracking apps in search of increased privacy following Roe v. Wade rulingTechCrunch
The data flows: How private are popular period tracker apps?Surfshark
FemTech: My Body, My Data, Their RulesEticas Foundation
Should You Really Delete Your Period Tracking App?Electronic Frontier Foundation
Fertility and Period Apps Can Be Weaponized in a Post-Roe WorldWired
Should I delete my period app? And other post-Roe privacy questions.Vox
Got a comment? Let us hear it.