The blog entry, published on July 1 by Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s senior vice president of core systems, is titled “Protecting people’s privacy on health topics” and details changes Google is making to protect and remove personal health information from the Google ecosystem.
This includes enabling users to have their location history automatically deleted and notifying users about requests for information from law enforcement bodies, in addition to deleting menstruation logs.
Fitzpatrick writes: ”For Google Fit and Fitbit, we give users settings and tools to easily access and control their personal data, including the option to change and delete personal information, at any time.
“For example, Fitbit users who have chosen to track their menstrual cycles in the app can currently delete menstruation logs one at a time, and we will be rolling out updates that let users delete multiple logs at once.”
A time frame for the update is not mentioned in the blog post. However, we can’t imagine the update will be far away, given the concerns raised by many US users that health data will be used to identify people seeking abortions in the wake of the US Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade.
The blog post also touches on location history, with Fitzpatrick writing that “some of the places people visit — including medical facilities like counseling centers, domestic violence shelters, abortion clinics, fertility centers, addiction treatment facilities, weight loss clinics, cosmetic surgery clinics, and others — can be particularly personal.
“Today, we’re announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete these entries from Location History soon after they visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”
Based on that statement, we imagine the Fitbit update will be rolling out to all devices that support period tracking, alongside Google Fit, within a similar timeframe – perhaps before the end of July. There's no word on whether other companies like Apple will adopt a similar policy with the Apple Watch's cycle tracking functionalities.
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Matt is TechRadar's expert on all things fitness, wellness and wearable tech. A former staffer at Men's Health, he holds a Master's Degree in journalism from Cardiff and has written for brands like Runner's World, Women's Health, Men's Fitness, LiveScience and Fit&Well on everything fitness tech, exercise, nutrition and mental wellbeing.
Matt's a keen runner, ex-kickboxer, not averse to the odd yoga flow, and insists everyone should stretch every morning. When he’s not training or writing about health and fitness, he can be found reading doorstop-thick fantasy books with lots of fictional maps in them.