CHENNAI: With technology at it its spree of facilitating human lives in every way possible, one such recent advancement is tracking periods on WhatsApp chatbot, which is a joint effort by a menstrual hygiene company called Sirona.
Chinmayi Sripaada, well known Indian singer and also a prominent socially responsible personality, has made a post on her Instagram handle on how data privacy is a matter of no concern in India and among Indians.
She made a post of screenshot of various websites that talk about this WhatsApp chatbot that track women’s menstrual cycle with a caption, “Indians in general don’t care about privacy, leave alone data privacy. We believe it is cool to be an ‘open book’. But it ain’t that cool when you get a ton of marketing calls, no? How do you think someone got your name and number? India has scant regard for such data sales. Just be wary. Beyond that your life, your body, your data.”
In another post, Chinmayi spoke about how these data can be sold to companies without the user’s consent. She said, “I saw news agency reporting about a company in India, asking women to message via WhatsApp and use that service to track their period Via WhatsApp. Now, when you share some of your most personal data, like your period dates, ovulation date, your entire fertility cycle, all of this is actually going to be sold to companies without your consent. So, when you sign up for something like this, it is very important to see what the conditions are and how your data is going to be stored. Especially in a country like India, data privacy is not at all important. And as a country, a lot of us actually don't care about data privacy.”
She also quoted that several American women have been deleting their period tracking applications and other data related to their menstrual cycle in fear of prosecution, after the Ro vs Wade judgement overturned, which said terminating pregnancy is illegal.
She then added, “Also, especially in the US, after the Roe vs Wade Judgment, a lot of women have gone ahead and deleted these period tracking apps for fear of prosecution. If you want to understand more about the Roe vs Wade judgment, you should definitely read about it. But if you're in India, please be wary about sharing your period details and your fertility details, especially to a company, without having any idea as to how they are going to be using your data, especially when your number is going to be out there, your identity is going to be out there, it is not at all safe.”
Many other Instagram users also asserted to Chinmayi’s post and are against such data mining tech services. There had been various warnings coming up in social media as how this WhatsApp period tracking can be an exploitation of personal data without consent and why it is important to read the fine prints and understand the terms and conditions before signing up for such adverse tech services.