Flo, the leading female health app, launches ‘Anonymous Mode’ to further protect reproductive health information in wake of Roe v. Wade decision

June 30, 2022

LONDON, June 30, 2022  — Flo, the #1 leading female health app, today announced the launch of ‘Anonymous Mode’, a feature that allows any of its 240 million users to use the service without any personally identifiable information, such as a name, email address, and technical identifier being associated with the account. The free feature can be accessed via the iOS and Android app’s settings and allows users to enjoy all Flo’s health features, with limited exceptions. Anonymous Mode will be available to all users in the coming weeks.

Flo’s mission is to build a better future for female health, and helps millions of women take control of their reproductive health. While the Anonymous Mode feature had already been underway, the development has been accelerated in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the landmark case Roe v. Wade. Some users have expressed concern about how third parties might be able to access user health data from digital services. Flo’s Anonymous Mode is based on the principle that users should feel empowered to access their Flo app without offering personally identifiable information.

Flo already uses security best practices, including encryption of all data. Beyond this, Flo encourages all users – including those using Anonymous Mode – to leverage Flo’s’ passcode feature to prevent unauthorized users from accessing the app on their personal device. Anonymous Mode protects user data even further. This new feature deidentifies data on a deeper level by removing personal email, name and technical identifiers. In the event that Flo receives an official request to identify a user by name or email, Anonymous Mode will prevent Flo from being able to connect data to an individual, meaning Flo would not be able to satisfy the request.

Regardless of whether a user chooses to select Anonymous Mode, all user data remains safe and secure with Flo. Flo does not share or sell any health data with any other company, but wanted to take this additional step to reassure users who are living in states affected by an abortion ban. It is important to note that once this mode is activated, users will no longer be able to recover data when the device is lost, changed, or stolen and there may be limitations to using the app’s full personalization benefits. This is why Flo is offering Anonymous Mode as an option for concerned users instead of activating it by default.

“Flo will always stand up for the health of women, and this includes providing our users with full control over their data,” added Susanne Schumacher, Flo’s Data Protection Officer. “Flo will never share or sell user data, and only collects data when we have a legal basis to do so and when our users have given their informed consent. Any data we do collect is fully encrypted, and this will never change.”

Flo is one of the few menstrual tracking apps on the market to conduct regular privacy audits with the assistance of highly respected independent auditors to screen and enhance the company’s internal privacy and security processes and policies. In March 2022, Flo completed an external, independent privacy audit which confirmed that there are no material gaps or weaknesses in Flo’s privacy practices. “Flo’s own practices are consistent with its publicly stated Privacy Policy”, stated the audit, continuing: “Data privacy and security are heavily emphasized at Flo as being at the core of their operations.”

“Now, more than ever, women deserve to access, track, and gain insight into their personal health information without fearing for their safety,” says Rachel McConnell, Director of User Experience. “By offering Anonymous Mode, we’re granting another layer of security for our users so they can continue to gain valuable health insights about their bodies without anxiety or concern.”

Flo is committed to privacy and security long term. The company is working on a roadmap of additional privacy and security features for both regular and anonymous users to be implemented after the feature launches, including ongoing improvements to the Anonymous Mode.

Flo is the most popular women’s health app globally; it is #1 OB-GYN-recommended app for period and cycle tracking based on a survey among US OB-GYNs. Over 240 million people  have downloaded Flo, and 48 million people use it on a monthly basis. With over 100+ medical experts, Flo supports women during their entire reproductive lives and provides curated cycle and ovulation tracking, personalized health insights, expert tips, and a fully closed community for women to share their questions and concerns. Flo prioritizes safety and keeps a sharp focus on being the most trusted digital source for women’s health information. Flo health app is available in more than 20 languages on iOS and Android. For more information, please visit https://flo.health.

Denae Thibault