- Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Mozilla began investigating several popular reproductive health apps.
- Mozilla found 18 have unclear guidelines on what data could be shared with law enforcement.
Eighteen popular reproductive health apps — including Flo, Glow, and Ovia — just got slapped with a privacy warning label from Mozilla.
Following the reversal of Roe v. Wade, Mozilla investigated 25 period and pregnancy tracking apps and wearable devices to better understand their privacy and security practices. Researchers looked at some of the most popular apps, as denoted by downloads, as well as those most often recommended by news outlets.
Of those investigated, 18 have opaque privacy-protection policies, and didn’t provide clear guidelines on what data could be shared with law enforcement institutions, said Jen Caltrider, the lead researcher on Mozilla’s *Privacy Not Included project.
“The harms are obvious,” Caltrider told Insider. “Women are being tracked and targeted with harassment, arrest, or prosecution for seeking reproductive health care.”
The apps will now be included in Mozilla’s Privacy Not Included buyer’s guide, which is meant to help consumers shop for products that connect to the internet. It attaches the warning label to products it thinks buyers should “think twice about” before purchasing or using.
Mozilla has long marketed itself as a web browser with a high standard of privacy. But in recent years, its prevalence has declined: across all devices, the browser currently claims less than 4% of the market share, according to Statista. It started its buyer’s guide in 2017.
The following apps have received a privacy warning label from Mozilla:
- Flo Ovulation & Period Tracker
- Clue Period & Cycle Tracker
- Ovia Fertility
- Period Tracker
- My Calendar Period Tracker
- Maya Period, Fertility, Ovulation, & Pregnancy
- What to Expect Pregnancy Tracker & Baby App
- Sprout Pregnancy
- Pregnancy & Due Date Tracker
- Preglife Pregnancy App
- WebMD Pregnancy
- Glow Nurture & Glow Baby
- Ovia Pregnancy
- Glow & Eve by Glow
- Period Calendar Period Tracker
- The Bump Pregnancy Tracker & Baby App
Insider reached out to each app that received a warning label from Mozilla for comment, and will update with any responses.
Only one app, Euki, earned Mozilla’s “Best Of” designation. Researchers found Euki stores data locally on users’ devices, and has a fail-safe functionality — which can be triggered by users in cases of coercion — that pulls up false data.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June sparked concerns that user data from reproductive health apps might be accessible by law enforcement to determine if users are pregnant, seeking abortion information or services, or crossing state lines to obtain an abortion.
Eva Blum-Dumontet, a tech policy researcher, previously told Insider that people shouldn’t feel they have to get rid of period-tracking apps if they find them useful — but also said it’s “not impossible” that their data could be handed to law enforcement.
Mozilla’s findings, a spokesperson said, reinforces those concerns.
“Overnight, apps and devices that millions of people trust have the potential to be used to prosecute people seeking abortions,” Ashley Boyd, Mozilla’s vice president of advocacy, said in a statement. “Our research confirms that users should think twice before using most reproductive health apps.”