Wearables & Privacy – What You Need To Know

Wearables & Privacy – What You Need To Know

Continuing my seemingly never-ending quest of digging through privacy policies, this time I analyzed how the most popular wearables companies handle their customers’ data. Fitbit, Biostrap, Motiv, Oura and Whoop all are on the cutting edge of health technology, but are their privacy practices on par with that or not?

A fellow biohacker Alex Fergus provided me with the opportunity to publish my little research article on his website. Over the years he has published tons of information on fitness, sleep and – of course – health gadgets. Few days ago he published the most comprehensive red light panel comparison I’ve ever seen, analyzing everything from EMF levels to irradiance and LED flicker. Let’s just say he knows his stuff, so I’m excited to try to match his professionalism on that space with mine about privacy.

I believe it’s time for the biohacker community to start valuing their data more. In my guest blog post you’ll learn:

  • What data do these wearables collect?
  • Are they selling or exchanging data with third parties?
  • Data retention – how long are they storing your data?
  • What can you do?
  • And more…

So head over to alexfergus.com and learn everything you need to know about wearables and privacy!

“YouTube channel will be disabled within 24 hours!” Phishing Campaign First Look

“YouTube channel will be disabled within 24 hours!” Phishing Campaign First Look

During past few months I’ve witnessed and been targeted by rather simple, but still interesting phishing campaign. Well, not me personally, but instead a YouTube channel that I run. This campaign has noticeably sped up in November, so I decided to take a closer look at these phishing emails and share with you my findings.

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Freedom of Speech in the Age of Privacy Policies

Freedom of Speech in the Age of Privacy Policies

(I got access to thinkspot beta and this was my first post on that platform. I decided to crosspost it here to increase awareness of thinkspot, and also because the issues I raise here are relevant on other social media platforms as well.)

 

Hi, I’m Joel, and I eat Privacy Policies for breakfast.

I’m thrilled to be among the first users a social platform that encourages free speech and exchange of ideas, driven by the idea of diversity of minds – the true diversity – not the superficial diversity of how we look or where we come from. However, there can be no free speech without privacy. In a similar vein, Snowden famously wrote few years ago that “Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say.” Well I care about both. It makes a lot of sense then for my first contribution on this platform to be an analysis of thinkspot’s Privacy Policy.

All comments are made about Privacy Policy that’s dated to be effective starting August 8, 2019. It seems that they don’t keep an archive of old policies, so I took the liberty to archive this one myself. They do however notify users “in advance of any material updates to this Privacy Policy by providing a notice on the Website or via email”, so that’s a good thing. Here’s some of the most notable parts of the policy.

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Yksityisyyden ikuinen arvo

Yksityisyyden ikuinen arvo

(Tämä on suomennos Bruce Schneierin vuonna 2006 julkaisemasta artikkelista “The Eternal Value of Privacy”. Käännetty ja julkaistu hänen luvallaan.)

Yleisin vasta-argumentti, mitä yksityisyyden puolestapuhujat kuulevat – ja tämä argumentti tulee yleensä niiltä, jotka kannattavat henkilötietojen tarkastuksia, valvontakameroita, tietokantoja, tiedon louhintaa ja muita valvontamenetelmiä – on tämä: “Jos et tee mitään väärää, niin eihän sinulla ole mitään salattavaa?”

Tässä on joitakin käteviä vastauksia: “Jos en tee mitään väärää, niin sitten sinulla ei ole syytä tarkkailla minua.” “Koska valtiovalta päättää mikä on väärää, ja he voivat vaihtaa väärän määritelmää.” “Koska sinä voit tehdä jotain väärää minun informaatiollani.” Ongelma näissä vastauksissa – vaikka ne toisaalta oikeita ovatkin – on se, että ne hyväksyvät yksityisyyden olevan lähtökohtaisesti jonkin väärän piilottelua. Se ei kuitenkaan pidä paikkaansa. Yksityisyys on ihmisoikeus, ja edellytys arvokkaan ja kunnioitettavan ihmisarvon ylläpitämiselle.

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My “Upgraded” Home Office

My “Upgraded” Home Office

Slowly, but surely I’ve been improving my work environment both at the office as well as home. If i’m going to spend one quarter of the week in front of a screen earning paycheck, it makes sense to optimize not just the productivity, but perhaps most importantly the external factors that impact my health in the long run. Last year’s back surgery – albeit only a minor operation – was a stark wake-up call for this.

Of course I have more freedom to optimize my work environment at home, so that’s what this article will focus on. Without further ado, here’s what I’ve done so far to upgrade my home office.

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My First Visit to Bodypioneer and an Infrashape Bike Workout

My First Visit to Bodypioneer and an Infrashape Bike Workout

Ever since I saw Sky Cowan’s video of Bulletproof Labs, I’ve been thinking how cool it would be to work out in a facility like that. While searching for places to get cryotherapy treatments in Greater Helsinki area, I stumbled upon Bodypioneer‘s site and it quickly became apparent that this might be the closest thing to Bulletproof Labs I could get around here.

Bodypioneer is an importer of workout and recovery equipment first, and an “upgraded gym” second. Essentially, they have a showroom in which you can book workout sessions for the different equipment that they’re importing. And they’re not just any old crossfit gadgets, but machines utilizing different forms of photobiomodulation, vacuum pressure, infrared heating, and so on. After few emails back and forth, I decided to go for an Infrashape bike session first.

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Red Light Review: The Half Stack by Red Light Rising

Red Light Review: The Half Stack by Red Light Rising

Around 2017-2018 I noticed that many – if not most – of the podcasts I listen to published an episode about red light devices. Red and near-infrared (NIR) low-level light therapy (LLLT) or as it’s perhaps more commonly known, photobiomodulation, took the biohacking world by storm. Although the research and tech wasn’t new by any means, multiple companies in this field appeared around the same time, which seemingly popularized the topic.

After a long time of conducting my own research into the science and benefits of red light photobiomodulation, I finally decided to pull the trigger late 2018. I ended up choosing a device which I think provided a good compromise between price, wavelengths and the power of the unit. After over half a year of experience with the panel, this is my review of the Half Stack red light by Red Light Rising.

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