A blog post by a senior Google executive revealed that Fitbit will soon release an update to allow users to delete their menstrual tracking records more efficiently.
blog entry, posted July 1 by Jen Fitzpatrick (opens in new tab)Senior Vice President of Core Systems at Google, is titled “Protecting People’s Privacy on Health Topics” and details the changes Google is making to protect and remove personal health information from the Google ecosystem.
This includes allowing users to have their location history automatically deleted and notifying users of requests for information from law enforcement agencies, as well as deleting period records.
Fitzpatrick writes: “For Google Fit and Fitbit, we provide users with 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 delete their period records one at a time, and we will release updates that allow users to delete multiple records at once.”
A deadline for the update is not mentioned in the blog post. However, we can’t imagine the update will be far off given the concerns raised by many US users that health data will be used to identify people seeking abortions following the US Supreme Court’s overthrow 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 are announcing that if our systems identify that someone has visited one of these places, we will delete those entries from the Location History shortly after the visit. This change will take effect in the coming weeks.”
Based on that statement, we imagine the Fitbit update will roll out to all devices that support period tracking, along with 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 capabilities.