Moves can now share your info with Facebook and the police.

Following the release of the iPhone 5s with the M7 motion coprocessor, a number of fitness apps sprang up to utilize all the data it could capture. Our favorite app was Moves, a user-friendly fitness tracker that makes it easy to cycle through the number of steps you’ve taken, the number of calories burned, the number of miles walked and the amount of time spent moving in a given day. Then the app was purchased by Facebook on April 24 of this year, much to the chagrin of many users.

Moves announced its new privacy policy on May 5, and thanks to its new owner, privacy minded users may want to think twice before using the app to track their movements. The terms of service for the app have been updated to include sharing with third parties, including new owner Facebook, one of the largest data mining operations in the world.

We may share information, including personally identifying information, with our Affiliates (companies that are part of our corporate groups of companies, including but not limited to Facebook) to help provide, understand, and improve our Services.

They’ll also share your information with the police.

We may access, use, preserve, and share your information, including your personally identifying information, with third parties when we have a good faith belief that it is necessary to: detect, prevent and address fraud and other illegal activity; protect ourselves, you and others, including as part of investigations; or prevent death or imminent bodily harm. We may also share such information if we believe that you have abused your rights to use the Services or violated an applicable law, or in connection with any dispute between you and us with respect to the Services.

Oh yeah, and if they sell the business or even part of their business, they can use your personal information as part of that transaction.

If we sell all or part of our business, make a sale or transfer of assets, are otherwise involved in a merger or business transfer, or in the event of bankruptcy, we may disclose and transfer your personally identifying information to one or more third parties as part of that transaction.

In short, Facebook can use your information for whatever purpose it likes; it could target ads to you based on businesses you pass on your run, or sell your information to developers wanting to know if an area is popular with fitness fans. They can also share your location information with the police if they want to, totally without your consent.

Of course, this may just sound paranoid. Exactly how much information could Moves have on you? Here’s everything that Moves collects from your phone, copied directly from their own website.

Data collection and processing Moves collects data from your phone to provide you with an easy way to track how and where you move in your everyday life. When you install, run or use our services we collect:

  • Location. Our system starts to collect location data from sources such as GPS, Wi-Fi and cell towers once you install the App and consent to the App’s tracking your location. We also collect Accelerometer samples, Wi-Fi network IDs, activity data, and places you identify with the Services. You may choose to stop our collection of location data through the Settings that we provide in the App, or by removing the App from your phone.
  • Information you provide. If you choose to create an account, you provide us your email and a password. You may also provide other information such as your gender, height, weight, and birth year in order to use all of the App’s features.
  • Information from your device. This includes information about your operating system, device identifier, carrier, language, battery performance, wi-fi or other network connections, or other data that you permit the App to access on your device including through permissions on your device (e.g. Google Play on Android).
  • Communications with us. If you communicate with us, we collect the information and content you provide to us, including personally identifying information such as your name, email or other contact information. You can provide anonymous feedback by using an email account that does not reveal your identity.

Signing this agreement only gives Facebook access to your travel data and personal information down to how fast you walk or run and what your average battery life is like. Given that Facebook isn’t exactly known for respecting the privacy of its users when money can be made, this update is especially troubling for anyone who worries about the increasing amount of personal information that must be traded just to use simple programs. I reiterate: it’s possible that this is just my paranoia kicking in. It’s also possible that you’ll see “David ran 2 miles this week, how far could you go with Moves” ads in your Facebook feed. We’ll have to wait and see.

If that level of information sharing is not to your liking, there are many other M7-enabled apps that aren’t owned by Facebook, including RunKeeper’s Breeze (free).

Moves Is A Fantastic Free Fitness App For The Rest Of Us.

Monday was a good moving day.

Moves is that rare thing on the modern App Store — a free app that has an enormous amount to offer. It’s magical in its simplicity, an app that asks no more than you switch it on and forget about it.

All you have to do is carry on with life. Moves tracks your movements, intelligently works out whether you’ve been walking, running, cycling or using transport of some kind, and provides you with a helpful summary at the end of each and every day.

Best of all, though, it does so without any need for input from you. You don’t have to tell it that you’re going out for a run. You don’t have to tell it you’re walking from A to B.

It just knows.

This is the wonder of Moves: it is entirely, delightfully automatic.

There is no setup, no preparation, no account sign-up, nothing. You switch it on and that’s it. Forget about it.

There are many activity tracking apps out there, but they all have the same flaw (something I didn’t even notice was a flaw until I started using Moves), which is that you have to interrupt whatever you’re doing and tell them what’s going on. Before you go for a run, you have to take your phone from your pocket, unlock it, open your running app, tap the “new run” button or whatever it is, yadda yadda. Yes, I know, #firstworldproblems. But: Moves removes all of that.

When you want to go for a run, you go.

It just knows.

Delve further in: there's much more under the hood.

Delve further in: there’s much more under the hood.

Then there’s another wonder of Moves: the beautiful presentation. Everything you do is summarized by large, colorful blobs at the top of each page. There’s one page for each day you leave the app running. The more you’ve been moving, the larger the blobs. You get different colored blobs for different activities.

Your movements during each day are broken down into chunks, and attached to locations. You sat still for a few hours in this place. You walked from there to this other place, where you were still again for 30 minutes. Then you ran to this other place.

Hidden within each day’s summary are a series of maps showing you every movement as a route. When you walked, you did it like this. When you ran, you went from there to there. Moves is a pedometer too, so it tells you how many steps you’ve walked for each walk, and as a total for the day. Once again, no need to tell Moves what you’re up to. It knows.

Some App Store reviews about Moves have criticized it for killing an iPhone’s battery.

It’s very likely, in my opinion, that Moves will affect your battery life. It needs to be left running all the time to do what it does, and that involves constantly checking GPS co-ordinates. But: my personal experience over the last week of testing was that Moves had no noticeable effect on daily battery life. I still needed to charge up my iPhone 5 mid- to late-afternoon, but that’s something that happens often, even when I’ve not got Moves running. For me, leaving Moves switched on had no effect at all.

One final observation: lots of free apps are free because they try to claw money out of you in some other way. In-app purchases, advertising, anything.

Moves is doubly impressive because it doesn’t do any of those things. It’s free as in “Wow, really?” I have no idea how its makers intend to profit from it, and who knows, perhaps they’ll add premium upgrade features to it in future.

Whatever. As it stands, Moves is a superb free app. It might not be comprehensive enough for very keen sportspeople, but I don’t think that’s who it’s aimed at. Rather, it’s aimed at the rest of us. Those of us who are getting slightly porky around the middle and keep thinking we really ought to do something about our health. It doesn’t nag or pester you into exercise; it simply encourages you to be mindful of how much you do – or don’t – move during each and every day. After a week of running it on my phone, I’m already much more aware of my own movements, and trying to think of ways to move more.

Moves is very, very impressive. I suggest you move fast to get it.

Source: Cult of Mac.