Flo period tracker app launches anonymous mode

ByLance T. Lee

Sep 15, 2022

In the days after Roe V.Wade was overturned by the Supreme Court, millions of women deleted their period-tracking apps knowing the government could now use reproductive health data against them in court. It might look like Handmaid’s Tale-level of paranoia, but there are real cases where a person’s app data and phone location have been used against them in court.

Now period tracker and female health app Flo has a solution: a completely anonymous mode that separates a person’s name, email address and IP address from their period and health information. reproductive.

Unlike other vintage apps that offer encrypted data and privacy measures, this anonymous mode app even prevents Flo himself (or anyone else) from accessing or handing over your data, even if they wanted it.

The company knew it had to act quickly in the days following the roe deer The decision was announced after women nationwide raised concerns about menstrual apps and privacy.

“They were worried about the implications of continuing to use period-tracking apps like Flo,” Cath Everett, vice president of product at Flo, told The Verge. “So we knew we had a user problem and a real problem that they wanted us to solve.”

Flo, which has 40 million regular users and 200 million downloads, recently got into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission and privately settled on sharing user data with social media apps. The company claims to have learned a huge lesson from this experience. Now, they are at the forefront of all data protection applications. The company even obtained ISO 27001 certification in early August, the internationally recognized standard for information security, becoming the first periodic application to do so.

Flo

Those using anonymous mode will still have a personalized experience using the app, but there are a few key differences users should be aware of. For example, your data will be lost if your phone is broken or stolen. But it could be a good price to pay for users who don’t want their cycles or fertility tracked.

“The beauty of anonymous mode is that it allows users to still have a personalized experience and insights based on the data they provide but, ultimately, that data cannot be traced back to them. says Everett.

Flo hopes other vintage apps will offer similar modes, but no other apps have announced any plans.

“I think we should work together on some of these issues,” Roman Bugaev, chief technology officer, told The Verge. “It’s very difficult to move the whole industry forward.”


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