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).

Apple will now alert you when the NSA wants your data.

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The data-hungry tentacles of the NSA have managed to choke America’s top tech firms into silent submission on data requests, but after months of demanding more transparency, Apple is ready to defy authorities and let you know when the NSA wants your data.

Prosecutors warn that such a move will undermine investigations by tipping off criminals and allowing them to destroy sensitive data, but according to the Washington Post, Apple and others have already changed their policies.

“Later this month, Apple will update its policies so that in most cases when law enforcement requests personal information about a customer, the customer will receive a notification from Apple,” company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.

Facebook, Google and Microsoft are also in the process of updating their policies to let users know in advance when their data has been swept into an investigation, giving users the option to fight disclosures in court.

Alerts to data requests won’t affect those approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which are automatically sealed by law, or subpoenas from the FBI that carry binding gag orders.

Apple and others say the new policies come with some exceptions, like if a potential victim is in imminent danger, especially if a child’s safety is vulnerable, but they argue the exceptions should be decided by a judge, rather than a company lawyer or investigator.

Source: Cult of Mac.

Stores using our phones to track our movement, behavior while we shop – clever… or creepy?

Stores using our phones to track our movement, behavior while we shop. Clever... or creepy?

While online retailers like Amazon can collect and analyze an incredible amount of behavioral data via accounts, cookies, page-views and other web technologies, real world stores aren’t so lucky. If you run in, pay cash, and run out, they’re pretty much “blind”. That is, until American fashion retailer, Nordstrom, decided to use our phones and their Wi-Fi signals to try and get in on the customer analytics game. Stephanie Clifford and Quentin Hardy writing for the New York Time:

Nordstrom’s experiment is part of a movement by retailers to gather data about in-store shoppers’ behavior and moods, using video surveillance and signals from their cellphones and apps to learn information as varied as their sex, how many minutes they spend in the candy aisle and how long they look at merchandise before buying it.

And they’re by no means alone. Wi-Fi and video are new tools, but customer insight analytics has been going on for years. As long as they have a single unique identifier – a loyalty card number, email address, phone number – they can perform an incredible amount of analytics on our buying patterns. (That’s why they’re always asking for your contact info or trying to get you to sign up for their card.)

Actually monitoring our movements via video and Wi-Fi signal draws a more detailed, more accurate, more visual map of how we walk through stores and what gets our attention, but market basket analysis has been used to figure out the cheapest coupons that’ll appeal to us and when, the best way to group products and offer sales, and what to stock up on and what to dump from the shelves. (And this information is sold back to vendors, creating a lucrative side business for retailers and analytics firms both.)

Theoretically, customers benefit through more timely and appropriate coupons, better store organization, and products that are more in line with what they want to buy. (Also, TV show lawyers could get their clients off because, hey, their phones were across town at the time…)

But, using Wi-Fi to actually track us moving through stores sets off all sorts of privacy alarm bells. When Nordstrom posted a notice about it, they received complaints and they ended the practice.

Source: iMore.