Fitness Apps and Data Collection

Hello and welcome back to our newsletter. Today we are going to look into some of the most popular health and fitness apps in UK. Since the start of the pandemic, the health and fitness industry has seen a big growth, and more and more people opted to fitness regimes at home. Yes, these apps have helped people stay healthy and made the adoption of a healthy lifestyle much easier, but have you ever wondered what data these companies collect about you? And more importantly, do you know what they do with this data? Well, let’s dig a bit deeper and find out.


In our research, we found that the top 5 health and fitness apps are: Strava; FIIT; Runkeeper; Cyclemeter and MyFitnessPal. Now let’s look at these apps individually and see what data they collect and with whom they share it with or even sell it.
 
Strava: This company collect some basic information about you when you access their services, like your Name, E-mail address, Date of birth, Gender, Username and Password. Besides these, they also collect information about your activities (including dates, times, geo-location, speed, pace, and your perceived level of exertion), when you join a challenge, the equipment you use, and also if you view other’s activities. A good thing we found about them, is that they do not track your location when you are not using their app, but they do keep track of you and store that data when you use the app.
Strava also collects some health information about you, such as heart rate, power, weight and other such indicators.
We also found that they use, licence, sell and share some of the information they collect about you. From that information, the following are included:
– Equipment you use
– App usage
– Demographics
– Routes used
– Your performance
 
FIIT: As we got used to already (unfortunately), this company collects the following information when you subscribe to their services: Name, Address, E-mail address, Phone number, Personal description, Height, Weight, Gender and Photograph. The company also collects some other data about you, such as: the type of device you use, your IP address, the country and region, login information, browser type and version. Besides these technical data, they also collect and store your heart rate, number of reps per exercise and the calories you burn.
We found out that they share your personal information with third parties:
– Business partners
– Suppliers
– Sub-contractors
– Analytics
– Search engine providers
 
Runkeeper: This app is part of Asics company, and through our research they collect and store the following information about you: Name, Post code, IP address, E-mail address, Phone Number, Address, Payment information, Account profile, Products or services acquired or considered, and based on these, they also predict your purchasing tendencies. We also found that the company collects data about your physical patterns, health and exercise data, website history, time spent browsing, your physical location, customer support calls and CCTV recordings.
Through our research we found that they do not sell your data to third parties, but they share the information with business and marketing partners, delivery service providers and financial institutions. They did not disclosed the name of their partners, but in case you need to know, you can find out by submitting an official subject access request to them.
 
Cyclemeter: This app was developed by Abvio Inc, and we found that the company collects the following data through their apps: Name, E-mail address, Cookie identifiers, your IP address, they store data about their website pages you visit and how long you stay, Your location, Biometric data (heart rate, speed, calories burned, height, weight).
We also found that the company shares your data for different purposes, such as: Analytics, Advertising and Payments. From the companies they share your data with, are included: Google Analytics, Firebase, Google AdSense, AdMob, Facebook Audience Network, Apple Store and Google Play In-App Payments.
 
MyFitnessPal: MyFitnessPal app is part of Under Armour company, and in our research we found that they collect the following details about you: Name, Address, Phone number, Username and password, E-mail address, Date of birth, Payment information and approximate location. They also collect some fitness and wellness data, such as: Lifestyle, Life events, Dietary restrictions, Fitness goals, height, weight, measurements, fitness level, heart rate, sleep data, BMI, biometric data, psychological condition and activity.
Under Armour discloses your personal data with third parties, including: Business and Marketing partners, Social network providers, Facebook, Baidu, WeChat. If you wish to see the full list of third parties Under Armour shares your data with, please let us know, and we’ll be happy to provide you with a copy.
 
As you can see, there is a lot of information collected, stored and shared by these health and fitness apps. Do you know what data gathers your fitness app? If you wish to obtain a copy of your personal data from them or any other fitness app, you can simply get in touch with us, and we will provide you their contact details, including E-mail address, Phone (if applicable), Address (if applicable) and the name of their DPO – Data Protection Officer (if applicable). You can also ask these companies to stop processing your personal data (for marketing purposes for example) or you can even ask them to stop sharing it with third parties.

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