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Cycle tracking is a feature built into the Apple Health app and there are plenty of reasons not to pass it on to third party data brokers. Here’s how to check your health data privacy.
Apple hosts a lot of sensitive information in its Cycle Tracking feature on the Health app. Data points such as tracked menstrual cycles, pregnancy test results and other personal data can be found in the Cycle Tracking section.
This information is highly sensitive and should not be freely shared with third parties without express permission. Check the following menus across the iPhone to make sure your data is under your control.
To determine access to health application data
Apps and devices can only access the health app with your permission, but it’s a good idea to check that older apps aren’t accessing data yet. Unused apps that don’t sit on the iPhone can still update internal databases and sync with the cloud using background processes.
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down Health And tap it.
- Select Data Access and Devices.
- Check out all the apps and devices listed as Expected and tap on each to see what data it has access to.
Each of these app menus has a list of “read” or “write” options. If the application has “read” permissions to the data, it can be accessed, downloaded and synced for its own use. The “write” permission allows applications to add data to a healthcare application.
Applications need access to read and write, so there is no need to turn off these toggles. Users need to understand how each app uses their data when granting access and “read” permissions.
To keep data on the device and private, turn off “read” permissions for any sensitive data point you don’t want to share.
The list of devices should show every iPhone or Apple Watch connected to Apple Health. This list is maintained for historical data in the health app. Only withdraw access from unknown devices or risk losing historical data.
There are other places to view app data access, but it should be the same as those found in the health settings menu. Just for peace of mind, users can check each location.
The Privacy and Security section in Settings also has a health option. Go here to see the same app list for third party read / write access.
The health app also has a multitude of toggles and a real cycle tracking section. To learn more about how Apple stores and protects app and user data, navigate through these menus.
In the Health app, tap the user profile in the upper right corner and then tap Applications For a recurring list of applications with data access. At the bottom of the profile menu, however, there is a useful link to learn more about managing health data.
To determine general application tracking
App tracking transparency requires asking permission before using trackers to track users across the web and in the app. Turning these off for apps, especially health-centric apps for cycle tracking, helps protect users’ privacy.
- Open the Settings app.
- Scroll down Privacy and security And tap it.
- Tap Tracking.
- Toggle individual application permissions to track.
- Or, toggle off all applications’ permission, toggle off Allow applications to request tracking
Apple says the data is under user control
Each user must decide what data to share with their iPhone and how to use it. Apple says the data is secure, and if users want to avoid third-party apps, the data can be manually recorded to the Health app.
You are in control of the health app features you use, such as health records, cycle tracking and sleep. You can enable and disable the features available in the Health app at any time by tapping the Browse tab, then tap the health class you want to enable or disable. Some health features may use your area to determine feature availability.