Indian menstruation tracking app Maya is leaking information relating to woman’s periods to Facebook: Report

The report from Privacy International claims that the information leaked by Maya includes confidential data about a user’s menstrual, emotional cycle as well as sexual health.

11th Sep 2019
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Bengaluru-based woman health tracker app Maya (by Plackal Tech) has come under scrutiny for sharing confidential data relating to sensitive personal information with third parties, including Facebook, according to a report from Britain-based privacy watchdog, Privacy International.


The information includes menstrual, emotional cycle as well as the sexual health of a user. The report further stated that Maya, which has over five million downloads on Google Play, informs Facebook when a user opens the app.


Maya

Referring to the above action, Privacy International further explained that there is already a lot of information Facebook can assume from a simple notification: that the user is probably a woman, probably menstruating, and possibly trying to have (or trying to avoid having) a baby.


Moreover, the report claims that even though a user is asked to agree to their privacy policy, Maya starts sharing data with Facebook, even before that, which has raised some serious transparency concerns.


However, after Privacy International shared the report with Maya, the company claims to have removed Facebook core and Analytics SDK from Maya. In a response it said,


“We understand your concern that in addition to providing the Analytics SDK, Facebook is also a social network and an ad network. We have hence removed both the Facebook core SDK and Analytics SDK from Maya. Version 3.6.7.7 with these changes is live on the Google Play Store and will be submitted for review to the Apple App Store by this weekend. We continue to use the Facebook Ad SDK, post opt-in to our terms and conditions and privacy policy. Maya does not share any personally identifiable data or medical data with the Facebook Ad SDK. The Ad SDK helps us earn revenue by displaying ads that our users can opt out of by subscribing to Maya's premium subscription.”


Facebook is not the only third-party having access to all this data. It is also shared with CleverTap, a customer retention platform that helps consumer brands maximise user lifetime value.


Maya was acquired in an all-stock deal in January, this year, for an undisclosed amount.


Earlier today, as a part of its blogpost, Sheroes, responded to the crisis and denied about selling data to Facebook or any third party. The blogpost said, “Recent reports of Maya leaking user data or breaching it for commercial reasons are absolutely false, baseless, and very, very inaccurate. They are also one-sided and sensational.”


“Like most apps, websites also use analytics and email tools like Google, CleverTap, FB Analytics, and many more. Every website, app, and platform uses analytics to improve user personalisation and experience. There is absolutely no breach of customer data, identity or commercial use of it,” Sheroes added in the post.


The women social network said that Maya is on a mission to build products that make a positive impact in the lives of women, and Sheroes takes pride in the trust its users put in Maya as it follows best practices on data privacy.



(Edited by Suman Singh)



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