Review date: 11/02/2020
Want a smart watch/fitness tracker but prefer a round face to the Apple Watch's square one? The Garmin Venu has a round face, tracks everything you can possibly image--heart rate, pulse ox, stress, sleeping, menstrual cycle, and more--and will coach you up with on-screen workouts, a coach, and built-in sports apps. It's got it all, and a round face! And Garmin does a pretty good job handling all your sensitive information, so that's a plus.
What could happen if something goes wrong
When one of our researchers for this guide wanted to get a fitness tracker, Garmin is what she went with. In large part because Garmin seems to do one of the best jobs handling the privacy and security of all the personal data fitness trackers collect of the many options out there. Garmin doesn't share or sell your data for marketing purposes. And it de-identifies the data it collects so it's (hopefully) not personally identifiable. We say hopefully because, depending on the kind of data, it’s been found to be pretty easy to de-anonymize these data sets and track down an individual’s patterns, especially with location data. Is our researcher happy with her decision so far? Yes, she is. Although it does make her a little nervous that she now leaves her phone's Bluetooth on all the time.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email address
Heart rate, movement, sleep data, blood oxygen levels, menstrual cycle, and more
How does it use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
Garmin was subject to a ransomware attack that took it offline for 3 days in July of 2020. No customer data was compromised.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Uses encryption in transit and at rest.
Updates are pushed automatically when you pair your device with the companion app.
Garmin doesn't have an official bug bounty program, but it invites responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities.
Garmin has a privacy summary page that highlights the high level points in a easy to read format.