Report: Menstruation apps share your data with third parties

Following their previous research findings on apps who collect and share data with Facebook, the Privacy International ran an investigation and published the findings around a number of menstruation apps, in specific, which collect and share some of the most sensitive data of females with third parties. The Privacy International partner organisation Coding Rights’s research finds that apart from menstruation cycles, apps collect information about health, sexual life, mood, and beyond, ‘in exchange for telling you what day of the month you’re most fertile or the date of your next period’. Majority of applications has been sharing data specifically with Facebook. In particular, ‘Maya’ by Plackal Tech and ‘MIA’ by Mobapp Development Limited shared in an ‘extensive manner sensitive personal data with third parties, including Facebook. After the report has been published ‘Maya’ representative said: ‘…We have hence removed both the Facebook core SDK and Analytics SDK from Maya. Version with these changes is live on the Google Play Store and will be submitted for review to the Apple App Store by this weekend. We continue to use the Facebook Ad SDK, post opt-in to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. Maya does not share any personally identifiable data or medical data with the Facebook Ad SDK. The Ad SDK helps us earn revenue by displaying ads that our users can opt out of by subscribing to Maya’s premium subscription.’ Reportedly, ‘MIA’ did not want to have their comment published. Facebook’s spokesperson said for The Telegraph: ‘Our terms of service prohibit developers from sending us sensitive health information and we enforce against them when we learn they are.’ One of the conclusions in the report is that European based apps are probably ‘failing to meet their GDPR obligations’. The report also provides separate recommendations for menstruation apps, non-EU governments, Facebook, regulators, and users. Research methodology and detailed responses by companies are published as well.