Kinsa Smart Thermometers
Review date: 11/02/2020
Thanks to the coronavirus, thermometers are a must have these days. Kinsa's smart thermometers take your temperature like a regular thermometer--there's one that does it in the ear and another the oral, under arm, anal way. What makes these thermometers interesting is that they connect to Kinsa's app via Bluetooth and give you personalized guidance based on your symptoms. Really interesting in COVID-19 days is that they take the data they collect from the over one million thermometers in use and anonymously aggregate this date to see where illness outbreaks are happening down to a county level (they hope to get to the zip code level soon). This might worry some privacy experts, while making many public health experts working to battle illness outbreaks happy.
What could happen if something goes wrong
Kinsa seems to do a pretty good job with privacy and security. They do aggregate your personal information to create "Illness Signals" to help inform where and when illness is spreading. Your health information is de-identified, and may be used for research purposes to better predict and stop the spread of infectious disease. This is generally an OK practice and can help better public health, although many privacy researchers will point out it is relatively easy to de-anonymize such data. What's the worst that could happen? You could record your symptoms in the app. Kinsa sees that you and seventeen others like you in your county have the same symptoms, alert public health officials to a potential outbreak of illness, and public health officials step in to stop further spread of the illness. That doesn't sound too bad at all in the age of COVID-19.
Can it snoop on me?
What is required to sign up?
Third party account
What data does it collect?
Name, email, birthday, gender
How does it use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record for protecting users’ data?
No known incidents in the last 2 years.
Can this product be used offline?
User friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Security findings can be reported online to firstname.lastname@example.org
Kinsa has a page detailing their privacy principles.
Does the product use AI?
Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?
Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?
Kinsa aggregates personal health information to identify and map disease outbreak.