WASHINGTON—The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with Flo Health Inc., the developer of a widely used period and fertility-tracking app, o
WASHINGTON—The Federal Trade Commission reached a settlement with Flo Health Inc., the developer of a widely used period and fertility-tracking app, over allegations that it improperly shared personal data with Facebook and others, including whether users were ovulating.
The data shared by Flo Health often allowed online ads to be targeted to those users, despite Flo Health’s promises that the information would be kept private, The Wall Street Journal found in a 2019 article.
The FTC’s vote on the proposed settlement was 5-0, the agency said Wednesday. The proposed settlement with the FTC, if it becomes final following public comment, would require Flo Health to obtain an independent review of its privacy practices and get users’ consent before sharing their health information, the agency said. The company also must notify consumers of the FTC charges that it shared consumers’ personal information without their consent, commissioners said.
In a statement, a Flo spokesperson said the company cooperated with the FTC, adding, “We are committed to ensuring that the privacy of our users’ personal health data is absolutely paramount.”
The company emphasized that it didn’t share users’ names, addresses or birthdays, and that its agreement with the FTC wasn’t an admission of wrongdoing but allowed it to “avoid the time and expense of litigation and…decisively put this matter behind us.”