Data Privacy in a Post-Roe World: Period-Tracking Apps

A Larger woman in a purple 3/4 sleeve top sits on a light blue cushioned couch in front of a table. She is working on a laptop.

Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, we need solid information about the data privacy of our period-tracking apps. Companies can and do track our data, sell it, and share it with police and other investigators. This interview with Margot Kaminski, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Law School who specializes in data privacy, addresses the evolving privacy environment around reproductive health.

“In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion in the U.S., the White House, the Federal Trade Commission and President Biden himself have warned women to be wary of online platforms that collect personal data—especially about reproductive health.

The concern: that law enforcement agencies or private citizens could use things like data from period-tracking apps, Google searches for abortion clinics or medications, social media posts or location information as evidence of a crime in places where abortion is illegal.”