BioSENSE Researchers Receive CTSP-CLTC Grant on Menstrual Biosensing Survival Guide

Richmond Wong, Noura Howell, and Sarah Fox have received a joint grant from the Berkeley Center for Technology, Society & Policy (CTSP) and Berkeley Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) for their project Menstrual Biosensing Survival Guide.

From the project description,

Biosensing technologies are increasingly present, predicting bodily or emotional health and offering promises of improved efficiency or personal wellness. Menstrual tracking apps, for example, encourage users to report intimate details, from the duration of periods, cervical mucus texture, emotional state, to sexual behavior. In the best cases, these apps offer period predictions, fertility planning, or pair with IoT devices to monitor the fullness of a tampon, but they also pose risks in the case of a security breach or as practices of sharing health data become more prominent in the workplace. Responding to these concerns over privacy and autonomy, we will conduct a review of existing menstrual biosensing technologies, their data policies, and users’ existing data practices to outline this rapidly shifting field, help users protect their intimate data privacy, and rethink assumptions of how these apps configure their users.