Review date: Nov. 8, 2022
Stress and anxiety. Yup, we're all feeling it. Likely your pup is feeling it too. Well, now you can monitor your pup's stress and anxiety to either reduce or increase your own stress and anxiety. The Fitbark 2 lets owners track their dog's activity, sleep, skin itchiness, how much they scratch, and yes, even their stress and anxiety. Monitor it all in an app that connects to the fitness tracker your dog wears over Bluetooth. And then connect that to your own FitBit or Apple Watch app data and there you have it, you dog's fitness and stress data lined up right next to yours.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
One sure fire way to make a privacy researcher grumpy is to sign them up to your email list without consent when they email you to ask questions about privacy. This is what they did to us every time we sent them an email with questions. Bad form, Fitbark, bad form.
More bad form comes in all the data Fitbark seems to collect on their users, both human and canine. They collect personal information on you such as name, email, physical address, birthday, phone number, and more. They collect your dog’s health, location and behavioral information too. They also say they collect data when you link your human fitness tracker and data about you from other companies related to their brands. All in all, it seems they try to collect a lot of data. And in Fitbark’s own words, they use all that data to “sell you stuff.” Finally, Fitbark may use anonymized data for marketing and promotional use, and for sale to third parties. This is a good time to point out that many privacy researchers claim it can be relatively easy to de-anonymize such data, especially location data.
The Fitbark 2 tracks your dog's movements and whereabouts using Bluetooth. It then shares your data with a company that really seems to like your data a lot.What’s the worst that could happen? Well, it’s one thing to spy on your pup to keep them safe. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to spy on you and your pup to “sell you stuff” and then potentially sell that (hopefully) anonymized data that could be linked back to you through your location. We’ve seen bad things come out of that practice.
Tips to protect yourself
- Check out Fitbark's Foolproof Ways to Protect Your Dog's Privacy site for tips
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
Name, email, phone number, address, date of birth, profile photo, location
Your dog's biometric data and health data
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 incidents in the last 3 years.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
FitBark do require a password. For the FitBark app they don't require a unique strong password. For partner's clients they do have a way to recommend a strong password based on the partner requirements.
Fitbark does patch certain security aspects of their apps based on periodic penetration testing by a third-party firm.
Vulnerabilities are tracked and managed via an internal project management platform, and are addressed routinely by our developers. Fitbark does not offer a formal bounty program, but generally rewards those who report vulnerabilities with complimentary products or subscription offerings.
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