EntertainmentFlo app creators face trial over data privacy breach allegations

Flo app creators face trial over data privacy breach allegations

Did the Flo app sell user data?
Did the Flo app sell user data?
Images source: © Canva | Canva

9:43 AM EDT, May 24, 2024

The creators of the Flo app will stand trial. Proceedings have begun in a Canadian court concerning a class-action lawsuit against the menstrual cycle-tracking app. The plaintiffs allege that Flo sold users' intimate data.

Mobile apps have become integral to our daily lives. We have apps for analyzing product ingredients, dating apps, learning foreign languages, and checking health. One of the most popular health-related apps is Flo, used predominantly to track the menstrual cycle. Flo operates as a modern calendar, allowing users to record menstruation dates, sexual activity, and any concerning symptoms.

Flo has serious problems

The trial against Flo began in a Canadian court on May 23, 2024. The plaintiffs are app users who accuse its creators of selling their data, including to Facebook. The Supreme Court of British Columbia is handling the case.

The indictment alleges Flo Health collected and intentionally shared susceptible user data with third parties. Richard Parsons, co-counsel in the case, stated in an interview with "CBC News," "There's been a significant disclosure of the private information of Canadian women, and we're excited to be proceeding to the next step with the case."

Flo Health responded to "CBC News," claiming that the app "has never sold user information or shared user information with third parties for the purposes of advertising. Flo will vigorously defend against allegations stipulated in the case."

The main plaintiff declines to comment

The main plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit is Jamie Kah Cate Lam. She used the app to get pregnant. Initially, there were no signs of problems; in 2017, Lam's son was conceived, and his mother used the Flo app in pregnancy mode. In 2018, she decided to delete the app. In 2019, "The Wall Street Journal" published a report stating that Flo shared user data with Facebook and other third-party companies.

Jamie Kah Cate Lam said she was "shocked to learn that Flo Health had disclosed my personal information to Facebook and others, despite my clear understanding when I downloaded the Flo App that my information would be kept private." She declined to give further comments.

The Supreme Court begins proceedings

Judge Lauren Blake has allowed the class-action lawsuit to cover all residents of Canada except Quebec, who used the Flo app from June 1, 2016, to February 23, 2019. Blake stated, "There are over a million Canadian users of the app in the proposed class. I am satisfied that ... a class-action proceeding will still provide significant advantages in judicial economy and efficiency."

Source: "CBC News"

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