BioSENSE Researchers Receive Continued CTSP-CLTC Funding for Menstrual Biosensing Project

An illustrated hand holds a menstrual cup with blood in it. The cup appears to be outfitted with sensors.

BioSENSE PhD candidates Richmond Wong and Noura Howell along with postdoctoral scholar Sarah Fox and interdisciplinary neuroethics major and graphic designer Franchesca Spektor received a second year of funding from the Center for Technology, Society, & Policy jointly with the Center for Long Term Cybersecurity for their work on menstrual biosensing. From the project description,

Engaging Expert Stakeholders about the Future of Menstrual Biosensing Technology

Networked sensor technologies are increasingly present in daily life. While promising improved health and efficiency, they also introduce far-reaching issues around cybersecurity, privacy, autonomy, and consent that can be difficult to predict or resist. This project will examine menstrual tracking technologies as a case for understanding the current and near-future implications of increasingly pervasive techniques of intimate data collection. These technologies collect sensitive data (e.g., menstrual flow quality, medicine use, sexual activity) and predict period dates and fertility. Last year, the researchers reviewed privacy policies of current menstrual tracking applications, which informed the design of speculative near-future technologies exploring surveillance concerns. This year, they will engage expert stakeholders of menstrual tracking around these speculative designs to broaden the discussion of cybersecurity, privacy, and fairness concerns. They will share their research findings with a broad audience to help scaffold the collective reimagination and reconfiguration of intimate biosensing.

Image credit: Franchesca Spektor