Hello! Welcome to today’s blog where I’ll be examining the privacy policies on an application on my iPhone. I’m interested in digging deep and revealing what kind of information they are collecting from me, why they collect this information, and what they do with my information. I think it’s important for us (users) to see what data our favorite apps are tracking! Let’s get into it.
The app I’ve chosen to dive into is Headspace. I LOVE this app. I love that it helps me stop and take a deep breath during the workday, it helps me fall asleep at night, and even provides a nice morning meditation. The app is free in the Apple Store to try with a 14 day trial, and you can choose to purchase the app if you want full access to all of its features. I have purchased the app because I use it quite frequently.
Headspace is very clear about what data they are collecting, how they are using the data, and confidentiality and security. This is really nice to see! Here’s an overview on what data they are collecting from their users:
- Personal data including your name, email, password, telephone number
- Data about your usage of the product
- Data you provide in connection with your usage of the product
- Facebook profile information if you choose to log into Headspace through Facebook
- Device information such as OS, device type, and system performance data
- Payment is collected through Apple and Google and Headspace is provided with “limited data” such as a unique, anonymous token
- Family Plan – Home address if enlisted in a family plan, and names and emails of additional family members (used only to invite them to the app and can be deleted)
- Invite a Buddy – Their name and email to invite them to Headspace. They track the success of the Buddy program. They new user can opt-out of Headspace using their data
- Student Plan – Third party platform to access personal data to provide verification.
- Healthcare Provider – National Provider Identifier in connection with your email to provide verification
Uses Made of the Data
- Provide you with the App
- Answer questions for information or handle complaints
- Ensure that content0 provided by the App is presented in the most effective manner
- Provide you with promotional communication, such as email, with option to opt-out
- Allow you to participate in interactive features
- Notify you about updates or changes to features and content
- Understand your broad, non-specific geographic location to help us identify groups of users by general market (zip code, state, country)
- Account for applicable sales tax
- Inform partners about your registration and use of the product
- Serve ads to you through Facebook or Google
- Provide you with SMS service
- To manage payments
Headspace uses third party trackers to let them know when users have visited by “clicking-through” their sponsored ads. Headspace uses Google Analytics to gather data and sets cookies to estimate the number of visitors to Headspace and volume of usage. You can restrict cookie usage in your browser settings.
Headspace uses mobile analytics software to better understand the functionality of their app on your phone. The software records how much you engage with the app, what you do within the app, performance data, and where the app was downloaded from.
The data collected online includes IP addresses, browser type, internet service provider, referring/exit pages, OS, data and time, and clickstream data. If you receive their email newsletter, your opening of the newsletter is tracked. The clicks on links in the newsletter are also saved. These stats are used to give them an indication of the popularity of the content and help them make decisions about future content.
Are you surprised by the data collected about Headspace’s users? This amount of data collection seems very typical to me, and actually, Headspace lays everything out nicely and seems to care about its users information and confidentiality.