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Reuters/ Phil Noble
Many apps share data with third parties

We give our most intimate details to sex, pregnancy, and fitness apps. Here’s how they use it

Olivia Goldhill
John Keefe
Member exclusive by Olivia Goldhill & John Keefe for The data boom

Apps designed to help people lose weight, track pregnancy, and have better sex are sharing personal information with third parties, often without making such practices clear to users. Quartz used an intercept tool to test several popular wellness apps and found users’ length of pregnancy and BMI bracket shared with Facebook, Google, and digital marketing agencies. Meanwhile, a sex app quietly shared users’ location data. Some of these apps’ privacy policies were difficult to locate or misleading. The information Quartz found apps sharing with third parties includes:

Pregnancy data

“What to Expect” pregnancy app told Google’s advertising network that a user was eight weeks pregnant seconds after that information was entered into the app. Users can only find the app’s long and jargon-heavy privacy policy if they seek it out, low down in the app’s settings menu. What to Expect did not respond to requests for comment.

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