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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Legal concerns have prompted the retraction of a smartphone application designed to anonymously gather users' sexual behavior - for one possible example, the results of their STD tests.
Although USA Today reports that the providers of the app - the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction and Indiana University - have opted to scrutinize issues relating to the app's privacy and data security, they said they had good intentions going into the project.
"People are natural observers. It's part of being social, and using mobile apps is an excellent way to involve citizen scientists," said Julia Heiman, director of Kinsey Institute, in a retracted news release from Indiana University. "We expect to get new insights into sexuality and relationships today. What do people notice, what are they involved in, and what can they relate to us about their lives and their communities?"
The app was intended to compile data on fetishes, flirting, masturbation, oral sex, information related to STD tests, condom use and sexual violence. The information could be disseminated without a consent form, but the researchers say the app would only mark the geographic location of the report, not the individual user.
Indiana University spokesman Mark Land said in a statement that the app could be made available again once they're no longer concerned about its legality.
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