Flo Health Period Tracker Shares Private Information Class Action

The public is only just becoming aware of how far their private information may be spread without their having any knowledge of it. This class action brings suit against Flo Health, Inc. for sharing personal information with Google, Facebook, and other companies, which is then used for “targeted advertising and other commercial exploitation…”

The Nationwide Class for this action is all persons living in the US who used the Flo App. A California Subclass has also been defined for users living in California.

Flo Health has developed a fertility app known as the Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker. The app is available for free download, and users can pay for subscription plans. It has been downloaded more than 150 million times.

According to the complaint, apps “are specifically engineered to collect personal information surreptitiously and unlawfully from [a person’s] mobile device, and then ‘share’ that information for profit to advertisers.” The collectors are software development kits (SDKs), blocks of code that track online behavior. An advertising SDK embeds its own code into the app’s code, “collect[s] personal information to serve behavioral advertisements,” and the SDK’s creator pays the app developer for the number of ads shown. This makes money for developers of free apps.

When a user downloads and opens the Flo App, the complaint says, Flo Health starts collecting personal information, such as gender, date of birth, location info, weight, body temperature, period cycle dates, sexual activity, and so on. This information is linked to a personal identifier that generates a detailed personal profile across all of the user’s devices and apps.

The app creator and the SDK pass information on to “third parties who track and use the collected information and analyze it with sophisticated algorithms to create a user profile. This profile is then used to serve behavioral advertising to individuals whose profile fits a set of demographic and behavioral traits.

The extended sharing of information is much greater than consumers realize, says a 2014 Senate report on online advertising and privacy. “A visit to an online news site may trigger interactions with hundreds of other parties that may be collecting information on the consumer as he travels the web.” One such visit “triggered a user interaction with some 352 other web servers as well…”

Data is passed on to other parties, who in turn pass it on to their affiliates. The complaint alleges, “Data harvesting is the fastest growing industry in the entire country. … Overall, the value internet companies derive from Americans’ personal data increased almost 54%.”

The complaint alleges that Flo Health promised to keep its app users’ data secret, but instead disclosed it to numerous third. According to the complaint, the information is used to target users with advertising and “to allow third parties and data brokers to follow users’ activities across their devices with essentially no limit.”

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Privacy

Most Recent Case Event

Flo Health Period Tracker Shares Private Information Complaint

February 3, 2021

The public is only just becoming aware of how far their private information may be spread without their having any knowledge of it. This class action brings suit against Flo Health, Inc. for sharing personal information with Google, Facebook, and other companies, which is then used for “targeted advertising and other commercial exploitation…”

Flo Health Period Tracker Shares Private Information Complaint

Case Event History

Flo Health Period Tracker Shares Private Information Complaint

February 3, 2021

The public is only just becoming aware of how far their private information may be spread without their having any knowledge of it. This class action brings suit against Flo Health, Inc. for sharing personal information with Google, Facebook, and other companies, which is then used for “targeted advertising and other commercial exploitation…”

Flo Health Period Tracker Shares Private Information Complaint
Tags: Using Your Private Information Without Consent, Your Privacy