https://newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/kevin-tober/2022/07/06/nbc-falsely-claims-government-spying-womens-pregnancy-tracking-apps

On Wednesday night’s edition of NBC Nightly News, anchor Lester Holt and technology correspondent Jake Ward needlessly attempted to scare their viewers by falsely claiming that state governments might use the data from women’s period tracking apps against them to suggest they received an abortion.

Holt kicked off the fearmongering segment by claiming “many women use their phones and computers to track pregnancies and other sensitive health information. But since Roe v. Wade was overturned, many now fear that information could one day be used against them.”

While it may be true that women may fear that this could happen, Holt & Ward’s job should be to quell those irrational fears, not stoke them.

Nowhere is there a law on the books (nor is there serious talk of making one) that permits the government access to private medical data from period tracking apps and using the information against women. But NBC News is not in the facts business, they are in the Democrat Party propaganda business. 

Ward began his report by interviewing a young woman who fears her private medical data could be accessed by the government: 

WARD: Steph Black began using period tracking apps in high school. 

STEPH BLACK: I’m meticulously tracking what’s happening to me in my body. 

WARD: When Roe v. Wade came under threat, social media exploded with warnings about them, with women fearing their digital activity could be used against them.

Ward claimed, without providing any evidence nor possible context, that “at least 1,300 women have been investigated, detained, or arrested for their pregnancy outcomes since 2006.” Instead, he cherry-picked the case of “Purvi Patel, charged in 2015, with illegally taking abortion pills had her text messages used in court.”

He also claimed “prosecutors used Latice Fisher’s web searches for abortion pills to pursue charges against her after a late stillbirth in 2017. The case was later dropped. Now, privacy experts are worried about apps.” 

Cynthia Conti-Cook of the leftist Ford Foundation advised women to “secure their devices. Secure their communications and secure their browsing history.” 

Ward then touted an app called Euki which he claims “is built for the post-Roe world” because the “data never leaves the phone and it has features to prevent anyone from coercing a user into granting access.”  

This isn’t the first time NBC News created a controversy that doesn’t exist. In 2018 after a series of bomb threats at a number of news outlets, Holt needlessly frightened viewers by telling them how to spot bombs in their mail as if bombs were being sent at random to the pubic at large.

This fearmongering segment was made possible by Prevagen and Progressive. Their information is linked. 

To read the transcript of this segment click “expand”: 

NBC Nightly News
July 6, 2022
7:15:36 p.m. Eastern

LESTER HOLT: Many women use their phones and computers to track pregnancies and other sensitive health information. But since Roe v. Wade was overturned, many now fear that information could one day be used against them. Jake Ward has this report. 

JAKE WARD: Steph Black began using period tracking apps in high school. 

STEPH BLACK: I’m meticulously tracking what’s happening to me in my body. 

WARD: When Roe v. Wade came under threat, social media exploded with warnings about them, with women fearing their digital activity could be used against them. 

TICK TOK USER: If I lived in a state where abortion was actively being criminalized, I would not use a period tracker. 

WARD: At least 1,300 women have been investigated, detained, or arrested for their pregnancy outcomes since 2006. And increasingly, phones provide the evidence. Purvi Patel, charged in 2015, with illegally taking abortion pills had her text messages used in court. 

Prosecutors used Latice Fisher’s web searches for abortion pills to pursue charges against her after a late stillbirth in 2017. The case was later dropped. Now, privacy experts are worried about apps. 

CYNTHIA CONTI-COOK (FORD FOUNDATION TECHNOLOGY FELLOW): People should secure their devices. Secure their communications and secure their browsing history. 

WARD: Many free apps sell information about their users to data brokers. Some companies are pivoting. The creators of Flo, who settled with the FTC in 2021 for allegedly sharing sensitive health data with marketers have just announced an anonymous mode. 

But Steph Black now says she prefers an app called Euki. It can track periods and sexual encounters and provides information on contraception and abortion without going to a browser. Euki was originally built by a nonprofit for women in Indonesia, where abortion has long been illegal. 

KELLY BLANCHARD (IBIS REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PRESIDENT): That is even more important now that we’re seeing increased restrictions on abortion access in the United States. 

WARD: Euki is built for the post-Roe world. Its data never leaves the phone and it has features to prevent anyone from coercing a user into granting access. One secret command seemingly breaks the app, for instance. 

BLACK: You can just say the app must be crashing. 

WARD: And personal data about sexual partners, abortion medications, and doctors visits can be erased with a tap or on a schedule, should the unthinkable happen. 

BLACK: This is very scary data to just have on your phone. 

WARD: You wouldn’t trust just anyone with this? 

BLACK: I wouldn’t trust anyone with this. 

WARD: Jake Ward, NBC News, Washington.

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