Collective Privacy Sensemaking on Social Media about Period and Fertility Tracking post Roe v. Wade

Image credit: Mozilla


On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which has led to full bans on most abortions in 14 states within one year. Many people in the U.S. use period and fertility tracking apps for reproductive healthcare and concerns have arisen about the privacy risks these apps might pose in the wake of Roe reversal. Existing literature on privacy risks of period and fertility tracking apps has primarily examined the privacy policies and practices of these apps. However, how users make sense of the privacy risks of these apps, especially in the post-Roe time, remains understudied. is study explores collective privacy sensemaking on social media, a practice in which people collectively make sense of a privacy situation. Our findings reveal how people contextualize privacy issues, speculate about the associated risks, as well as explore risk mitigation strategies. We conclude with privacy design implications for privacy design in period and fertility tracking apps and contribute insights that could inform policymaking and legal perspectives.

PACM on Human Computer Interaction, CSCW
Renkai Ma
Renkai Ma
Mixed-methods HCI Researcher

I use human‑centered desgin approaches and mixed methods to study platform moderation with users, moderators, and policy experts to direct better design and policy‑making changes for online communities.