Grant / January 2020

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 our research findings with a broad audience to help scaffold the collective reimagination and reconfiguration of intimate biosensing.