Personal data gathered by health and wellbeing apps can include sleep recordings, fitness metrics and mental health data.
Yoga, meditation, sleep, dieting, sports, journalling - while there are more and more apps keeping us healthy and mentally fulfilled, this also gives companies much greater access to the intimate details of our individual worlds.
What happens to this information and who it's shared with isn't made clear. Namely, that it’s sold on and used to better target you with advertising.
Understandably, many people find this extremely invasive. Ultimately, who sees your information should be up to you.
Data that fitness and health apps often store:
- Name, gender, birth date
- Address and location data
- Weight and caloric intake
- Mood and mental health data
- Email address and telephone number
- Billing and credit card information
- Browser type and operating system
- Browsing history
- Purchase history i.e. subscriptions
- Cookies and IP address
- Photo ID
But some know a lot more. Women's health apps, for example, also collect information about frequency of sexual activity, fertility status and even details about the user's menstrual cycle. To read more about what different types of health apps collect and share, scroll to the bottom of this page.
A deletion request is a written request that you send to a company asking for them to remove your personal information from their records. It's your right to decide what happens to your data under GDPR law.
How do I remove my personal data from health and wellbeing apps?
The quickest way to delete any sensitive information is by sending a deletion request through Rightly.
- Get started above to select fitness and health apps you use or have used in the past
- Enter your basic details for identification purposes
- Send your request
Remember, this is a full deletion request. That means it will also delete your account and all of the information within it. If you'd like to remove only part of your data with a health and fitness app, it's best to do this using their privacy settings.
If you can't find an app, please contact our customer support team and we’ll add it for you.
How long until they respond to my request?
Once the apps have received your request, they'll have 30 days to respond, or give a valid reason as to why they need an extension. If this happens, our support team can help speed up the process!
What if I’m not sure if they have my data?
You can still ask them. If they don’t have it, they have to let you know.
What if I’ve said they can use it in the past?
If you agreed to an organisation using your data but you’ve changed your mind, don’t worry! You can still ask them to delete your data.
What if they don't reply?
Don't worry, they have to follow your wishes thanks to your ‘right to erasure’ under GDPR law. GDPR applies in the UK and EU.
We’re free because our mission is to make data fairer, for everyone.
We don't use consumer data for commercial purposes, which means we'll never, ever sell your data. It also means that there are no adverts or hidden costs.
What each type of health and fitness app typically collects about you
Data stored by yoga apps like Down Dog:
- Interests and preferences
- Future needs
- Comments, surveys, forums
- Website and app usage i.e. features, content and activities you participate in
Data stored by mindfulness and meditation apps like Headspace:
- Mindfulness goals
- Previous meditation experience
- App usage i.e sessions you use, videos or music you listen to, what screens or features you access etc.
- Product descriptions and preferences
Data stored by sports and fitness apps like Google Fit:
- Personal description
- Height and weight
- Fitness information i.e.heart rate, number of reps per exercise and calories burned
- Classes you're taking, fitness metrics, session time and duration
- Information gathered from photos, posts, comments, kudos, ratings, reviews, and other content you share
Data stored by sleep apps like White Noise:
- Recordings of the sounds you make during your sleep
- Sleep duration, sleep onset, sleep staging
- Respiration, movement, noise disturbances, and other sleep measurement data
- Sleep stage, temperature, light level, audio events
- Mattress, curtains, sleep aids
Data stored by dieting apps MyFitnessPal:
- Weight history
- Caloric intake
- Heart rate and blood pressure
- Blood oxygen levels
- Body weight
- Glucose levels
- Dietary restrictions
- Fitness level and goals
- Sleep activity
- Life events
Data stored by women's health apps like Period Tracker:
- Menstrual activity and cycle dates
- Sexual activity and sexual health
- Fertility and pregnancy plans
- Sexual orientation
- Cervical mucus quality
- Contraceptive history
- Sleep activity
- Health diagnoses and medications
- Details of partners and children
- Dietary restrictions
- Fitness level and heart rate
Not only do fitness and wellbeing apps have a long history of security breaches, but they’re also very likely to sell your personal information to third party advertisers like Facebook, Amazon and Google.
With Rightly, you can send a deletion request and stop health and wellbeing apps using your personal data, today.