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Personal data put in our apps can be tracked

Posted: 5:55 PM, Jul 06, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-06 21:55:56Z

Every day it seems our smartphones are getting smarter. They can monitor heartbeats, sleeping patterns and even your period. 

Mom-to-be Megan Yannitelli has been using the apps to help her track her pregnancy. 

She said, "It gives you weekly updates about what your body is doing, things to consider, things you should be buying, should be doing. For some of the more you know intimate questions I think people probably aren't aware that that's going anywhere."

But it is going somewhere. These apps are asking very personal questions.

Things like:

 -When are you having sex?

-Do you have acne constipation headaches?

-Did you have any alcohol?

Tech expert Steve Beaty with Metropolitan State University OF Denver said, "There's an incredible amount of information they have on these phones. I mean they're with us essentially on our bodies all day long. We need to continuously ask ourselves what is it, what is private and what is public."

The information collected from the apps can also be sold and shared.  Some of the user agreements allow companies to take the answers you give and combine them with anything you make public via social media. For example, a company making a pregnancy test that connects to an app might use your information to market their company's baby products to you after you have given birth.

"While it's sometimes painful I think it's important for us to look at what we call the E.U.L.A.s the end user license agreements so that we do understand what the data are that they're taking about us, and where those data go," Beaty said.

Websites like TLDR LEGAL.COM take those difficult to read user agreements and put them in simple terms.

"Hopefully a bunch of people are using it and so they might have some feedback as to if there are any privacy issues of these sorts of things," Beaty said.

 

Also, make sure you check how the apps are tracking you, for example are they tracking your location or turning on your microphone and camera.

 

Yannitelli has been careful, "I think a lot of people say it's not worth it "

 

She says she's going to be even more careful by just choosing not to answer the personal questions.

 

"I'm definitely reading this would not expect that this tracked and collected," says Yannitelli.