Health and fitness apps - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Health and fitness apps

  • Fox 29 Daily HeadlinesMore>>

  • Facebook adds privacy settings to comply with European rules

    Facebook adds privacy settings to comply with European rules

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 5:33 AM EDT2018-04-18 09:33:47 GMT
    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:49 AM EDT2018-04-22 09:49:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. A propaganda expert who has studied Cambridge Analytica says the company helped Donald Trump’s presidential campaign use f...(AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File). FILE - In this May 16, 2012, file photo, the Facebook logo is displayed on an iPad in Philadelphia. A propaganda expert who has studied Cambridge Analytica says the company helped Donald Trump’s presidential campaign use f...
    Facebook is introducing more privacy safeguards to users in Europe to comply with new rules meant to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data.More >>
    Facebook is introducing more privacy safeguards to users in Europe to comply with new rules meant to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data.More >>
  • UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Arizona's teacher walkout

    UPDATE: Everything you need to know about Arizona's teacher walkout

    Sunday, April 22 2018 12:31 AM EDT2018-04-22 04:31:23 GMT
    Arizona teachers could be staging a strike, which may leave tens of thousands of parents scrambling. (Source: Raycom Media)Arizona teachers could be staging a strike, which may leave tens of thousands of parents scrambling. (Source: Raycom Media)

    One thing is certain, tens of thousands of parents will be forced to scramble to find out what to do if enough teachers walk out.

    More >>

    One thing is certain, tens of thousands of parents will be forced to scramble to find out what to do if enough teachers walk out.

    More >>
  • In new walkouts, students look to turn outrage to action

    In new walkouts, students look to turn outrage to action

    Friday, April 20 2018 12:26 AM EDT2018-04-20 04:26:49 GMT
    Saturday, April 21 2018 10:15 AM EDT2018-04-21 14:15:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File). FILE - In this March 14, 2018 file photo, young demonstrators hold a rally in front of the White House in Washington. Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gu...

    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.

    More >>

    Another wave of school walkouts is expected as students honor victims of gun violence and push for gun control.

    More >>

Chances are you've downloaded a health or fitness app on your smartphone.

The industry is skyrocketing and expected to grow to 26 billion by 2017! Millions of people use them and enter information about everything from their diet, to health conditions, to even sexual activity.

While these apps can have some amazing benefits, we've found your privacy could be in critical condition.

Avid biker Matt DeMargel pedaled his way to losing 30 pounds, and credits health and fitness apps for helping him drop the weight. "The apps have been very critical in helping me achieve my goals."

Matt enters his height, weight, everything he eats, and how much he exercises into one app, and uses another to track each bike ride. Matt, however, realizes he's not the only one watching his progress.

As this research by Evidon, a privacy technology company, found many popular health, wellness and fitness apps share your data with third parties. "I've made a choice that being that this was going to help me from a health perspective, that I would take the privacy risk."

How big of a risk could you be taking? If apps are used to transmit information to your doctor, pharmacy or any health care plan or provider, that data is confidential. The information is protected under strict federal health information privacy laws.

But if HIPPA doesn't apply, then it's up to each app to disclose its privacy policy.

This study, by Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, reveals more than a third of apps it reviewed sent data to parties it didn't disclose. "I think that's troubling. In the health and fitness context, where consumers are used to thinking about sharing their information in the traditional provider context, I think, they might be surprised about the collection of information that's happening," said Cora Tung Han with the Federal Trade Commission.

The same study found a majority of apps sent data over unencrypted connections. The Federal Trade Commission is on the case.

The FTC warns app providers need to let users know exactly who's watching their every ride, tracking their pregnancy or their blood pressure. "We do look at whether or not apps are honoring what they say in their privacy policies, and also whether or not they are living up to what they say to consumers in the app itself about what they're doing with their information," Han explained.

The application developer's alliance says it encourages app makers to be up front about data collection. The organization was quite up front with us admitting targeted ads are a significant reason for sharing info and a significant source of revenue in the industry. "So if you have high blood pressure, and you are telling the app, 'I have high blood pressure', you should expect you're going to get advertisements for high blood pressure medicine," said Jon Potter with Application Developers Alliance.

Matt says despite the risk of data sharing and unclear privacy policies, he's not putting the brakes on his beloved apps anytime soon.

He just follows his own rules of the road which, experts agree, is a good way of gauging if an app is right for you. "I just make sure if it's out there, it's something I'm comfortable with the whole world knowing."

Some other privacy tips: If you can find an apps policy be sure to read it carefully and make sure you feel comfortable with it.

The FTC is recommending app developers offer a "do not track" program similar to the one that exists for Web browsing.

For more tips and information about this read the FTC's Mobile Privacy Report.

Copyright 2013 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by Frankly

1100 Banyan Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Raycom Media. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.