How to adjust the privacy settings for your wearable

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Jordanna Kalkhof February 25, 2020

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Wearable technology has been on the rise for a few years now. Smartwatches and other wearable devices give users the ability to mirror their phone notifications, control IoT devices, track their fitness activities, and more. While these devices can add a layer of convenience to your life, like any device, it’s important to consider the privacy and security of the data they collect. Most smartwatches have access to a lot of personal information, especially health and fitness data. This information is collected both natively and through additional third-party apps.

In our past few posts, we’ve covered why your health data matters, including both the positive and negative effects of its collection.  If you’re a smartwatch user who is concerned about the way your data is collected and shared, check out the privacy settings for your device and adjust them as needed. Below you’ll find step by step instructions on where to find these settings for three major brands.

 

Apple Watch

  1. Open the Apple Watch app
  2. On the My Watch screen, tap Privacy
  3. Here you can enable or disable the features that monitor heart rate and track your body movement.

Note the message at the top of your screen. Certain Apple Watch features are automatically adjusted according to your iPhone settings, including locations services, analytics, contacts, and health settings. It’s always a good idea to check which apps have access to your location and how often. Learn more about Apple’s Privacy Policy here.

Fitbit

  1. Open the Fitbit app
  2. Under Privacy and Security, tap Privacy
  3. Here you can review and adjust the privacy settings for your personal info and statistics
  4. Save

Each row allows users to choose who can view their data (private, friends only, or public). Learn more about Fitbit’s Privacy Policy here.

Garmin

  1. Access your Garmin Connect account from your computer
  2. Click on your avatar in the upper right corner, and choose Account Settings
  3. Choose Privacy Settings
  4. Adjust the privacy settings for your profile, activity, segments, and popularity routing

For your profile and activity, again, users can choose who can view their data (only me, my connections, my connections and groups, or everyone). For segments and popularity routing, users only have the option to toggle these on or off. Learn more about Garmin Connect’s Privacy Policy here.

 

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