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‘Fix the tech’

Fitbit faces pushback from women over bizarre flaws in their period tracker

August 3, 2018

Wearable fitness device and application Fitbit is facing criticism from women over a “period tracker” that doesn’t allow them to log menstrual cycles that last longer than 10 days. The tech company added the women’s health tracking feature in May to allow women to document data about their periods and ovulations, noting in a blogpost that the update had been among the most requested features asked for by customers. But in a move that some observers claim as evidence of the need for more women in the tech sector, the company imposed strict limitations on the amount of time that can be logged for periods and then, when criticized, simply directed complainants to “comment and vote” on their suggestions board.

“Show your support by voting and commenting? No – how about you just fix the tech so it works for your paying customers?” tweeted one Fitbit user.

Jo Foster, head of diversity and inclusion at the Institute of Engineering and Technology, said that other aspects of the women’s health tracking were also problematic, and perhaps indicative of the fact that few women were asked to weigh in on the app.

“I don’t know how many women were involved in designing this but it links back to the fact that we need more women involved in the design process,” she told BBC News.

Read the full story at BBC News.


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