Flo settles F.T.C. charges of misleading users on privacy.

The developer behind Flo, a period- and fertility-tracking app utilized by greater than 100 million ladies, on Wednesday settled federal charges that it had misled users about its data-handling practices by sharing their intimate well being particulars with Facebook and Google.

In its privateness insurance policies, Flo had repeatedly promised users that it might shield personal particulars about their menstruation cycles and fertility, and that the info could be used solely to offer providers to them, based on a grievance filed by The Federal Trade Commission.

Instead, federal regulators mentioned, Flo shared delicate well being particulars on thousands and thousands of users for years with quite a few third events — together with Facebook’s and Google’s analytics items, in addition to with two cell analytics providers, AppsFlyer and Flurry. The personal information included info associated to users’ durations, pregnancies and childbirths, the grievance mentioned.

Moreover, Flo didn’t put limits on how Facebook, Google and different corporations may use the ladies’s well being info, federal regulators mentioned, giving the third events the power to make use of the info for promoting and different functions.

The proposed federal settlement prohibits the app’s developer, Flo Health, from misleading users about its data-handling practices. It additionally requires Flo to acquire users’ consent earlier than sharing their well being particulars and to acquire an impartial assessment of its privateness practices.

In settling the case, Flo didn’t admit to any wrongdoing. In an announcement, the corporate mentioned it doesn’t share details about users’ well being with out their permission. “We are committed to ensuring that the privacy of our users’ personal health data is absolutely paramount,” the assertion added.


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