The developer behind Flo, a period- and fertility-tracking app utilized by greater than 100 million ladies, on Wednesday settled federal expenses that it had misled customers 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 customers that it could defend non-public particulars about their menstruation cycles and fertility, and that the info can be used solely to offer providers to them, in line with a criticism filed by The Federal Trade Commission.
Instead, federal regulators mentioned, Flo shared delicate well being particulars on thousands and thousands of customers 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 non-public knowledge included info associated to customers’ intervals, pregnancies and childbirths, the criticism mentioned.
Moreover, Flo didn’t put limits on how Facebook, Google and different firms might use the ladies’s well being info, federal regulators mentioned, giving the third events the flexibility to make use of the info for promoting and different functions.
The proposed federal settlement prohibits the app’s developer, Flo Health, from deceptive customers about its data-handling practices. It additionally requires Flo to acquire customers’ consent earlier than sharing their well being particulars and to acquire an unbiased 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 customers’ 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.
The month-to-month deficit in December — $140 billion — broke a document set within the 2009 recession, the Treasury Department mentioned.Credit…Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
The federal finances deficit was larger last month than in any December in American historical past,