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A photograph of Co-CEOs, Audrey and Carrie.

Photography by Franz Grünewald and Zoe McArthur. Art Direction by Marta Pucci.

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One year post-Roe: This is what we want Clue users to know

We have never disclosed health data to any authority, and we never will. Here’s why.

by Audrey Tsang, MSc, and Carrie Walter
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It’s been a year since US citizens lost the constitutional right to end a pregnancy. A year after the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, it is shocking how far the rollback of reproductive rights has gone in some parts of the country. 

We now hear reports of doctors hesitating to provide care, scared to give straightforward counsel to patients facing pregnancy complications. A 10-year old rape victim had to be taken out of her home state to be spared the ordeal of pregnancy and birth. Women worry about their private health data being subpoenaed and used against them if they need reproductive healthcare. Some are opting for ignorance about their own bodies, in the hope that this will protect them. It has never protected us. 

A year ago, we promised to do our part to uphold reproductive rights by safeguarding our community’s health data, continuing to ensure every Clue user’s experience is as positive and safe as it can be. We reiterate: 

No matter where you are in the world, we will never allow your private health data to be used against you. 

Today, we also thought it was important to let you know that no US authority (and no government authority from any other country) has asked us for anyone’s health data. We have never disclosed such data to any authority, and we never will. 

Our promise to you

As a reminder: we believe that German and European legal privacy and due process protections would be an effective safeguard against any government’s attempt to obtain Clue users’ data to prosecute an alleged abortion. Clue is a German company with one office, in Berlin. We make one app, Clue, with no complex corporate structures or other businesses in other jurisdictions. No legal loopholes. And because our business model is simply to build premium paid features for our users, the trust of our community is, ultimately, our most vital asset. 

These are the legal and commercial reasons why we would never let Clue users’ health data be used for reproductive surveillance. But more importantly, at Clue, women are the decision-makers. Clue is a female-led company, one of surprisingly few of the major tracking apps. Clue was founded to empower people to understand their bodies better, to self-advocate, and to make more informed choices. 

As Clue’s Co-CEOs, we are Clue users. And as women, contributing to reproductive surveillance would be unthinkable. Clue contains data about our own cycles, and our pregnancies—whether or not they went to term. Because it’s important to own that record, because good advice depends on an accurate history, and because if you are female, the promise of increasingly personalized healthcare can only be realized with the help of this data. 

If you use any health app, any data-driven, personalized technology, you ultimately need to form your own view on whether you trust the people who build it. If you are concerned, you should try to understand who the decision-makers are, not just the spokespeople. Why do they do what they do? 

So we’re marking this sad anniversary with renewed commitment, and solidarity with women, girls, and anyone who can get pregnant. We deserve reproductive autonomy and the best healthcare—free from judgment, shame, and political interference. 

From Berlin, with solidarity

This is what our campaign that launched this week, From Berlin With Solidarity, is about. There is nothing funny about reproductive surveillance—but sometimes, a very serious point is best made with humor. This campaign is especially meaningful to us because it was conceptualized by a group of passionate American Clue users, who reached out with the idea. 

A photograph of our recent campaign poster.

They had been following our response to Dobbs closely and wanted more women to know there are places in the world that protect health data privacy, and that there are platforms like Clue, run by a female-led team who are actually willing to stand up for their users. Taking this subject that causes so much pain and anger, they have turned it into something thought-provoking, light, and just plain persuasive. 

Dobbs was a wakeup call for many, in the US and beyond. We need to protect our right to knowledge, health, and freedom with everything we’ve got. 

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