Review date: April 25, 2023
You're feeling off, you're not sure why. It happens to all of us. Sometimes we can step back and put two-and-two together to figure out what's going on. Sometimes we can't. Mood and symptom trackers can help. Bearable is a popular and recommended mood/symptom tracker that lets users "track anything and discover how it affects your health." Track your mood, sleep, exercise, medication, stress, food, bowel movements, or even customize it to track things you didn't even know you could like how often you sneeze everyday. Track it all, then look at charts and graphs to see how all those things affect your over time. Or share that data with your mental health professional to sort through what is going on in your life. How does Bearable handle all that private, personal information you share? Well, they seem to do an OK job, although we do have some concerns about what you consent to when you simply agree to use the app.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
First reviewed April 20, 2022. Review updated, April 25, 2023
One other thing that gave us pause about Bearable was the discovery that certain trackers, like one for Facebook that could be used to track user data, appeared when our research used the app. As your lovely privacy researcher pointed out, he didn't give his "explicit consent" for any of his user data to be tracked through Facebook. We emailed our good buddy James at Bearable for an explanation of this. We're still waiting to hear back on that one.
All in all, Bearable isn't the worst app we've reviewed. It's not the best either. But we're happy James did confirm they meet our Minimum Security Standards this year, so that's a step forward. There's still work to do though James! Including fixing that confusing "explicit consent" concern. Nobody wants to feel tricked into giving their consent to for an app to collect and/or use their personal information.
Read our 2022 review:
Bearable seems to do a pretty good job taking their users' privacy seriously. This mood and symptom tracking app can collect a lot of personal information if you chose to share it. Things like your email, mood, energy levels and individual symptoms, your medication and supplements, sleep quality, exercise, diet, and daily activities such as work and grocery shopping. That's a lot of personal information. Here's what we like about how Bearable handles all of that data of yours.
First, Bearable says they don't and will never sell your data. Yay! They also say they track as little personally identifiable data as possible to protect users. They purposefully do not ask for information like name, age, and gender. Again, yay! They go on to say they don't process personal data that directly identifies you as a person (such as your first name, surname, email). Good work Bearable, so far so good. Bearable doesn't seem to share personal information with third parties for targeted advertising. Again, good. They do say your health data is encrypted safely and the only personal data attached to it is your email address. And then they say, "your personal profile data (email address) is stored separately from your health (mood, symptoms, medication, your customized health factors) data and your service settings. This allows us to ensure the highest possible level of privacy for your health data. Your password is stored using one-way encryption." Which is a little confusing, because it sounds like your email address is attached to your health data, yet stored separately. Not exactly sure how that works, but it seems OK, we hope.
Tips to protect yourself
- You can read Bearable’s recommendations for protecting your personal data under the section 'Data security' here.
- Do not log in using third-party accounts
- Do not connect to any third party via the app, or at least make sure that a third party employs decent privacy practices
- Do not give consent for sharing of personal data for marketing and advertisement.
- Choose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
- Do not use social media plug-ins.
- Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images, location unless neccessary)
- Keep your app regularly updated
- Limit ad tracking via your device (e.g. on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
- Request your data be deleted once you stop using the app. Simply deleting an app from your device usually does not erase your personal data.
- When starting a sign-up, do not agree to tracking of your data if possible.
Can it snoop on me?
What can be used to sign up?
Facebook, Google, Apple sign-ups are available
What data does the company collect?
If you open an account: email and name.
Moods, prescriptions, and other potentially sensitive health related data you chose to share with the app.
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.
Child Privacy Information
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Reporting per email available.
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