Jan 13, 2021 - Technology

Fertility app settles probe into data sharing with Facebook, Google

The Flo logo (the word "Flo" in script, next to an illustration of a feather)

Illustration: Flo

A fertility app with more than 100 million customers on Wednesday settled a Federal Trade Commission investigation into allegations that it shared health information with Google, Facebook and other companies without users' consent.

Details: The FTC said Flo promised users of its Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker app that their health information would be kept private, but instead shared data, including whether a user was pregnant, with companies that provided marketing and analytics services.

What's next: Flo will get users' consent before sharing their health information and obtain an independent review of its privacy practices as part of the terms of the settlement.

  • The FTC also is requiring Flo to notify users that it shared period and pregnancy information with the analytics divisions of Facebook, Google and others.

What they're saying: In a statement, Flo said the settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing, and will allow the company to avoid the "time and expense of litigation."

  • "Flo did not at any time share users’ names, addresses, or birthdays with anyone," the company said. "We do not currently, and will not, share any information about our users’ health with any company unless we get their permission."
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