In the United States, women are abandoning period-tracking apps that are less data-protective in terms of data protection, such as Flo, in favor of those that promise greater privacy, such as Stardust. However, the problem is not limited to period apps: any temperature tracking system, for example, can get hold of data that allows inferring the reproductive status of the user. Not to mention the information that can be guessed on the basis of purchases or interests. Google announced it would delete the location data of visitors to abortion clinics, but said nothing about searches for facilities on its search engine
In essence, technology companies in the United States will almost certainly comply with local state laws, unless there is legislation to replace them. This means that companies will hand over the requested information to the authorities following a court order. Deleting period tracking apps isn’t enough, since most of the deleted data is recoverable. Users are then monitored through smartphones, computers, visited sites and other apps. Even in the UK it is perfectly legal to sell this data, as long as it is aggregated and, in theory, anonymised. As the computer science researcher claims Latanya SweeneyHowever, the term “anonymised datasets” should include the word “pseudo” in relation to anonymity.
Basically, the business model of the entire “legal” web is about getting to know users well enough to sell them what they might want. And pregnancy affects a woman’s potential purchases. As an engineer and technology evangelist, I’ve been concerned for a long time about the lack of individual autonomy on the front of the fingerprints that we all leave behind. I predict that in 2023 we will see women and their allies take to the streets for demand data protectionas a means of regaining control over our bodies.
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