The organization found that several menstrual tracking applications, including MIA Fem and Maya, send information about women's contraceptive use, menstrual cycle, abdominal colic and other symptoms directly to Facebook.
Women use these apps for a variety of purposes, from tracking menstrual cycles to maximizing the chances of having children. In the Google Play App Mall, Maya, owned by Plackal Tech, India, has more than five million downloads. MIA Fem: Ovulation Calculator, a menstrual tracking software owned by Moboapp Development Limited in Cyprus, says the company has more than 2 million users worldwide.
It is understood that the data sharing between these applications and Facebook is achieved through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK). The SDK helps application developers integrate specific functions and collect user data so that Facebook can show them targeted advertising and other features. When users put personal information into the application, it is possible that the information will be sent to Facebook by SDK.
When asked about the report, Facebook told BuzzFeed News that it had contacted the application specified by Privacy International and discussed possible violations of its terms of service.
The analysis found that the application also shared data about contraceptive use entered by users and their emotions. In addition, users are asked to enter information about when they had sex and what contraceptives they used. Similarly, the information was shared with Facebook.
Generally, advertisers are very interested in people's emotions because it helps them strategically target them when they are more likely to buy. Women who are pregnant or want to be pregnant may change their shopping habits.