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Could period-tracking apps be used against you?

Women who use apps to track their cycle are worried about whether their data is safe.

INDIANAPOLIS — Technology has come a long way, but our privacy laws haven't kept up.

Women who use apps to track their cycle are worried about whether their data is safe.

"I track my mood, I track my flow, my hormone levels, my appetite and all of those items are pre-programmed into here," said Elaine Miller who has been using the Clue app for about six years.

Concerns about period-tracking apps grew after a Supreme Court draft opinion was leaked stating Roe v. Wade would be overturned. Many users took to social media urging women to delete any personal data from the apps and suggesting information could be used against them if they decided to have an abortion.

"Anybody out there can have access to this information that is so personal to every woman," said Miller. "It's information that should stay between me and my phone or me and my gynecologist."

RELATED: No, health data from most period-tracking apps is not protected under HIPAA

Cybersecurity expert Scott Shackleford said no information is safe.

"Once that information is generated, once it's associated with you, it's out there and because of the data broker market, once its out there, it can be bought up by pretty much anybody, including governments," said Shackleford.

Shackleford said lawmakers have yet to pass a privacy bill of rights.

"U.S. users, all of us Hoosiers here in Indiana, for example, have very few protections with regards to the types of data that gets harvested about us when we're using any kind of app," said Shackleford.

Shackleford said some Indiana companies comply with the General Data Protection Regulation, Europe's data privacy and security law. It allows consumers to have control over how their online data is used. It also gives consumers the right to have their data erased.

"If you're concerned about that, especially in the months ahead, consider whether you want to keep using these apps and if you do decide to make sure you check those default settings," said Shackleford.

Miller said there needs to be better legislation around the privacy of data. An app many women say should be private.

"Especially when it comes to women's private cycle information. That's something that should be so personal, but is being monetized and is something that is potentially going to be used against people," said Miller.

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