Let’s start this blog with a fun tweet.
— Anti (@insanetweet) September 7, 2022
Anyway, when Apple was busy revealing its next-gen hardware lineup, we were feeling anxious.
We were more concerned about how Apple would deal with the privacy concerns associated with cycle tracking.
Especially after the overruling of Roe v. Wade which had protected the privacy and rights of pregnant women to have abortions.
Being extremely fascinated by both – Apple’s R&D team and Roe v. Wade’s right to privacy, either of them losing the game to another would be heartbreaking for us.
But Apple nailed it for its Apple Watch cycle tracking and literally did not disappoint a big fan base of its privacy and security that also includes our healthcare IT team.
Yes, cycle tracking on Apple Watch Series 8 is secure and private. But there is a lot more you seriously need to know.
How did cycle tracking Apple Watch feature backfire?
In watchOS 6 and watchOS 7, cycle tracking is one of the most prominent features which has been launched targeting women’s health.
Using this feature, women can log information about their menstrual cycle along with other information that includes symptoms such as headaches or cramps.
The cycle tracking feature analyzes this data and alerts the users that their fertility window is about to start.
Setting up the cycle tracking in Apple Watch is also very simple and straightforward.
Everything ran well for Apple until the day Roe v. Wade was overturned in June 2022.
In case you are wondering, Roe v. Wade – as per Wikipedia – “was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States conferred the right to have an abortion.”
But after its overturning, abortion has become illegal in many states of the USA.
The aftermath of abortion becoming illegal proved lethal – not only with the case of Apple Watch’s cycle tracking but other period tracker apps too.
People have developed the fear that the cycle tracking Apple watch feature and other period tracking apps might be storing their wellness data that can reveal if that particular user had an abortion or not.
This can be possible by identifying the gap between a reported missed period and a reported new period.
If that gap is not of certain months, the app or Apple Watch can also track the user’s visits to the clinics with GPS data and firmly say whether she had an abortion or not.
To deal with this fear, people started uninstalling the period tracker apps from their smartphones and turning off the cycle tracking feature from the Apple Watch. (That’s what they could only do!)
Let us present to you some data that depicts how people take data privacy seriously.
This data is enough to tell us that users are now seeing cycle tracking Apple watch feature with a different perspective that feature has never been built for!
That’s why Apple must have a hard time designing a privacy experience for the Apple watch series 8.
Our experience with healthcare security and privacy
Like Apple, we don’t deal with hardware. But yes, software is our core expertise – to be specific – healthcare software!
Since our inception, we have been very clear about the privacy and security of whatever healthcare app or software we build.
We recently built a white-label no-code patient portal.
In this too, we have worked extra 3 months to infuse ultimate privacy and security into the software.
However, achieving ultimate privacy and security is very overwhelming for small to medium-scale companies.
Then you must be wondering – how can we be able to achieve that?
Well, we have cracked it. All you need is a mindset, guts, and a dedicated team of healthcare compliance experts!