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The decision by the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal in some states has been met with protests, emotional pleas and global outrage.

One of the many concerns that has emerged off the back of this monumental decision is about period tracking apps.

People in the US are worried that the data on these apps – about menstrual cycles, ovulation, cold sore medicine zilactin lip balm missed periods and more – could be used to target people seeking an abortion.

The fears are about trust and privacy. Is our data safe with these tech companies?

Experts are warning that these tracker apps could be used to surveil pregnant people and submitted as evidence if someone should be prosecuted. This concern is clearly pertinent right now for people in the US – but should we also be worried here in the UK?

EU members have better protection for their online data because of the GDPR – and the UK we have our own post-Brexit version of this legislation. But is this enough – or is it safer to get off the apps altogether?

Flo’s website states that health data will ‘never be shared with any company but Flo, and you can delete it at any time.’ They also say that they collect personal data only when it serves a ‘specific, explicit and legitimate purpose’ – the parameters of which they say is outlined in their privacy policy. 

Speaking to, a spokesperson said: ‘Flo will always stand up for the health of women, and will do everything in its power to protect the data and privacy of our users.

‘We will soon be launching a new feature called “Anonymous Mode” – an option that allows users to remove their personal identity from their Flo account. Lastly, Flo will never require a user to log an abortion or offer details that they feel should be kept private, and users can delete their data at any time.’

European company Clue released an extensive statement into their privacy policy in reaction to the Roe v Wade result.

‘Given the increasing criminalisation of abortion in the US, we understand that many of our American users are worried that their tracked data could be used against them by US prosecutors. It is important to understand that European law protects our community’s sensitive health data.’

They go on to outline the company’s privacy commitments.

They say they ‘share as little data as possible in the safest way possible,’ adding, ‘when we leverage our dataset for new insights into female health, we ensure that it is completely de-identified before the scientific researchers we work with analyse it.’

You can read their full response here.

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