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What are the top 10 fitness and weight loss apps doing with your data?

Find out how these dieting apps are using your sensitive information.

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Fitness and weight loss apps are hugely popular, but do they fall short when it comes to your sensitive information? Our investigation reveals that from sleeping habits to fitness goals, to social media activity and IP addresses, these apps often collect and share your personal information.

In this blog, we'll cover:

  1. What information is collected and shared by the most popular weight loss apps.
  2. How you can take action to stop your sensitive information being shared.

Please note that when we list the data that each company collects from their users, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are sharing all of it with advertisers. Instead they may only be sharing parts of it, but a full list allows you to see how much data would be accessed in a data breach or cyber attack.

Delete your data from dieting apps

MyFitnessPal

What personal data do they collect?

Information MyFitnessPal stores includes:

  • Name, username and password, email address, date of birth
  • Payment information
  • Location Data
  • Sleeping habits
  • Life events
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Fitness goals
  • Height, weight, and other measurements
  • Social media data

Social media data is gathered when you log in using your social media account. For example, using your Facebook account to log in may give access to your email address, profile picture and friend list.

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes. 

Who with?

‘Advertising and marketing partners...including but not limited to Facebook.’

In 2018, 150 million accounts on MyFitnessPal were compromised and at risk of a data breach, Under Armour (owner of MyFitnessPal) notified users quickly.

Delete your data from MyFitnessPal

Noom

What information do they store?

Here's some examples of what Noom collects:

  • Height and weight
  • Blood pressure,
  • Blood glucose
  • Gender and age
  • Country and zip code
  • Fitness level
  • Health indicators
  • Device type and app usage information
  • IP address

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes.

Lose It!

What data do they collect?

Some examples of information stored by Lose It!:

  • Birthday
  • Height and weight
  • Sex
  • Food and drink preferences
  • Exercises patterns
  • Test results generated from a user’s genetic data
  • IP address, browser type and operating system
  • Website usage, entry and exit times
  • Financial information
  • Location data 
  • Information you may provide in user-to-user messages
  • Information collected from promotions with third party companies

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes. 

Who with?

Lose It! does not specify who they share this information with.

DailyBurn

What do they store?

Here are some examples:

  • Name, email address, age and gender
  • IP address, username and password
  • Location and zip code
  • Credit card information
  • Purchase history,  products ‘considered’ and fitness videos viewed
  • Browsing history and search history
  • Website and app usage
  • Photographs and videos that you choose to upload to the app

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes. 

Who with?

  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • Google

Calorie Counter by FatSecret

What do they know?

Information collected by FatSecret includes:

  • Name and email address
  • Age and gender
  • Location and postal code
  • Fitness goals and current weight
  • IP address, browser type and operating system
  • App usage and activity
  • Food consumption
  • Previous exercise routines

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes.

Who with?

If you consent to data sharing, 'FatSecret may from time to time share non-personally identifiable information with our affiliates and advertisers and other third-parties. FatSecret may also use your information to personalize FatSecret services and improve the operation and functionality of FatSecret.'

Fooducate

What information do they store about you?

Here are some examples:

  • Name and email
  • Address
  • Website usage and activity
  • Message and comments posted on site
  • IP address
  • Browser type

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes.

Weight Watchers (WW)

What do they collect?

Weight Watchers collects:

  • Name and address
  • Contact details
  • Date of birth
  • Billing information
  • Credit card information
  • Health data like weight history
  • IP address, browser type and operating system
  • Information provided when using app features i.e. 'Weight Tracker' tool
  • Information provided in questionnaires and surveys

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes.

Who with?

  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube

Lifesum

What data do they store?

Information Lifesum collects may include:

  • First and last name
  • Email
  • Date of birth
  • Country of residence
  • Weight and height
  • IP address
  • Information submitted to the app, such as weight gain and weight loss information
  • Information from third parties like Facebook

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes.

Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary

What data do they collect?

Here are some examples:

  • Name, e-mail address, date of birth, gender
  • Weight and height
  • Contact and billing information
  • Credit card information
  • Fitness activity

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Not unless they are legally compelled to do so.

Slimming World App

What information do they store?

Data collected by Slimming World App includes:

  • Name and email
  • Postal address
  • Telephone or mobile number
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Medical information
  • GP’s name and address
  • Information relating to your weight loss journey

Do they share your data with third parties for advertising purposes?

Yes, with your consent.

How can you prevent your most sensitive information being shared?

While helpful, these apps do often rely on the 'transparency deficit' between people and businesses. Most app users aren't aware of just how much of their information is being shared or sold on when they use them.

The first step is finding out what the apps you use most often do with your data. We've got more investigations in our blog, or in our 'Which brands know the most about you?' campaign.

The next step is to take action. You can delete your information from women's health apps, online retailers, or even your whole digital footprint through Rightly. Our service is free, because our mission is to make managing your online personal data as easy as possible. Let us know how you get on!