Eli5: How can period-tracking data be used against women?


I’ve noticed a rise in concern but no explanations were given.

In: 0

Simple example – an employer may use this data to discover an employee is pregnant and proactively fire her before she looks to obtain maternity leave.

Simple example – a Texan may discover that a woman went 3 months between periods and report her as having had an abortion.

Simple example – an insurance company may discover that a woman has an irregular history related to potential pregnancies. They may use this data reject the woman from a policy.

If states banned abortion, they could use that data. They would know to investigate a woman who missed a period and then all of sudden had a period again a month or two later.

A lot of them have a lot of access, including to location.

With all the trigger laws waiting for the fall of Roe, you don’t think something that tracks her cycle and where she goes might be involved in enforcement?

There’s an ability built-in to monitor the cycle for irregularities which suggest pregnancy and to track location including travel to legal states. It can be used to build a case and app manufacturers have a lower level of responsibility and protection than say…healthcare providers do via HIPPA.

Okay so if you’ve been having say, 32 day cycles with 6 day periods, and then you suddenly have a 72 day gap with an 8 day period, that makes it seem like you missed a cycle or two. A normal person would think that you might have been stressed out or had an early miscarriage or forgotten to log or any number of things. A person who didn’t know anything about apps or the human body would assume you had taken mifepristone and charge you with aborting your pregnancy. Therefore, people are worried that the data can be used nefariously.