Could info from period tracking apps be used against you if abortion is criminalized in Michigan?

There are many people on social media who warn others to stop using period tracking applications on their smartphones to protect their information after the overthrow of Roe V. Wade.

But how much of a concern is that data really? Enough of a concern that Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel warn residents to take steps to ensure their information is protected.

She raises her own concerns about companies that have information on people’s fertility and menstrual cycles.

Many people use applications to track their menstrual cycles and those data can reveal information regarding periods, ovulation and pregnancy. Officials said there was legal concern that the information could become evidence if abortion was criminalized.

“There are many unknowns as we face a post-Roe era, but one thing that remains certain is that consumers can protect themselves and their private information,” Nessel said. “I beg Michigan residents to read the fine print in the telephone applications and applications user agreements, because their registration often gives companies the right to sell personal information to other companies. Be aware that your information may be sold to entities for other uses. ”


In 2019, it was revealed that a period tracking app shares data on some users’ family planning with their employers. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission settled with a period tracking app after the company promised to keep the data price and it then shared the data with Facebook and Google.

A recent investigation by Consumer Reports found issues with the way five popular period tracking applications handle user data, including sending it to third-party targeted ads.

What the FTC says to do

FTC shared the following tips on how to protect your personal data.

  • Compare options on privacy. Ask a few key questions when considering a health program:

    • Why does the application collect information?

    • How does the application share that information – and with whom

    • Then select the application with the level of privacy preferred.

  • Provide personal information.

  • Know the risks.

  • Report concerns. Do you think that a health program shared personal information without permission?

The Department of Health and Human Services has more information available on how to protect your privacy and security of your health information when using your mobile phone. click here.


Currently, Michigan providers cannot be prosecuted for providing abortion care as a result of an order issued by the Court of Claims last month.

Read: Michigan AG: Abortion care ‘cannot be prosecuted’ while order is in place

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