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!

Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 2: Sleep

Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 2: Sleep

Earlier this year my employer provided us with the opportunity to do a three-day Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment. This provided me a chance to do three days of “double self-quantification”, and compare the results of the much hyped Firstbeat to my daily driver, the Oura ring.

Firstbeat Bodyguard 2 measures your body’s signals 24/7, whereas Oura ring does most of it’s tracking during your sleep. Both of the wearables focus heavily on HRV (links to Oura’s and Firstbeat’s HRV info pages), but when it comes to sleep, there’s a lot more to look at.

Continue reading “Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 2: Sleep”

Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 1: Activity

Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 1: Activity

Earlier this year my employer provided us with the opportunity to do a three-day Firstbeat Lifestyle Assessment. This provided me a chance to do three days of “double self-quantification”, and compare the results of the much hyped Firstbeat to my daily driver, the Oura ring. I’m not going to explain how these devices or the Firstbeat service itself works, but let’s just say they both heavily focus on Heart Rate Variability (learn more from Oura’s and Firstbeat’s HRV info pages).

These devices are known for sleep and recovery tracking, but they also measure the wearer’s activity throughout the day. This first part of the comparison focuses on that: Firstbeat’s and Oura’s activity analysis differ quite a lot in the ways they capture your activity and what markers they use when doing so.

Continue reading “Firstbeat vs Oura Results Comparison – Part 1: Activity”

Before You Buy an Oura Ring (a List of Missing Features)

Before You Buy an Oura Ring (a List of Missing Features)

As one of the pre-order customers, I have accumulated already over 6 months of data with the second-generation Oura ring. I have a lot of good things to say about Oura, and I can confirm that I’ve managed to make positive changes to my sleep and recovery routines. However, I can’t say that the Oura system would be perfect yet – there’s room for improvement especially on the app’s side.

If you’re interested to see in-depth review of the ring, I recommend checking out videos from Bioneer and Alex Fergus. This is not a review, this is a list of things Oura is still missing. Call it a wishlist or feature requests, here are the 6 things you should probably know before buying an Oura ring:

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Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring

Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring

Out of all the information we generate (willingly or unwillingly) out there, nothing gets more personal than health data. Traditionally, health data has been collecting dust in some public healthcare sector’s file cabinet, but thanks to fitness and wellness gadgets and services, that data is now scattered across the world.

Workout heatmaps reveal secret military bases left and right, DNA testing services get breached and fitness trackers go bankrupt leaving data who knows where. Is there any hope for privacy left in this field?

After 8 months of waiting since preorder, I’m now an owner of a new Oura ring – one of the most advanced wellness and sleep trackers on the market. Among other things, Oura gives its user (wearer?) every day an overall score for Sleep, Readiness and Activity. I decided to return the favor and go through Oura’s Privacy Policy with a fine comb and give Oura a Privacy score. This is how it went down.

Continue reading “Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring”