Makers of the popular fertility tracking app Premom repeatedly deceived users by sharing sensitive information that included health data to third parties without users’ permission, a new Federal Trade Commission complaint alleges.
The agency’s investigation found that Easy Healthcare, which developed the app, violated its direct promises to users by improperly disclosing sensitive data indicating sexual and reproductive health information, including pregnancy status, to the marketing firm AppsFlyer and Google. As far back as 2018, the third parties received data on “Custom App Events” with labels that conveyed sensitive health information, according to a Justice Department complaint. For instance, the third party could see the event “Log period-save” when a user logged information about their period. The FTC alleges that the disclosures repeatedly violated the company’s promises to users that it would not share any identifiable or health data.
Between 2018 and 2020 the developers also shared sensitive data such as precise geolocation data tied to a non-resettable mobile device identifier with two Chinese-advertising firms without user permission, according to the complaint. The findings were the focus of a joint investigation by the attorneys general of Washington, D.C, Oregon, and Connecticut, which coordinated with the FTC.