Oura Ring

Tracking health biometrics has its merits. And wearing a watch 24/7 can be cumbersome. Oura makes a ring that tracks your health stats and aims to help you sleep better and feel better. And it seems the rich and famous--from Prince Harry to the NBA, WNBA, and more--have taken a shine to this little ring. It tracks sleep, steps, calories, as well as heart rate, respiratory rate, temperature, inactive times, and even naps. And they've rolled out even more health stats--that measure your stress level, allow you to quickly journal your mood and mental state with help from AI, and one that assesses your resilience. Wow! Even better, this Finnish company is pretty dang good at protecting your privacy with all that personal and health data they collect. Yay!

What could happen if something goes wrong?

Oura's privacy policy says, “Our products, like the Oura Ring, enable you to track your lifestyle choices and the quality of your sleep. We understand that data does not get much more personal than this, and the protection of your personal data is of paramount importance to us.” Yay, they get it!

From what we can tell, the Finland-based, GDPR (that's the EU's privacy law that's way better than anything privacy protection the US has) compliant company that makes the Ōura ring does a pretty good job with the privacy of all the personal data this little ring collects. Ōura says they don’t sell or rent your personal information or share the Ōura app data with third party advertisers. This is great. They do share some information about how you browse their website with advertisers through tracking cookies. That’s pretty standard.

This device does track your biometric data closely. So closely, in fact, that there have been academic studies done that show data from the Ōura ring can help predict the start of covid-related symptoms and maybe even pregnancy. It’s a good thing Ōura seems to protect that data carefully. It’d be very weird for a company to know you’re pregnant before you do. Given the recent outlawing of reproductive health rights in parts of the United States, it's also very nice to see Oura put out a statement on their commintment to reproductive health and privacy, including this nice bit, "Oura will oppose any request to provide legal authorities with access to user data for surveillance or prosecution purposes, and will notify users if we receive any such request.” Good work Oura!

What’s the worst that could happen with the Oura ring? Well, if you use Circles, Oura’s private social groups that let you share high-level stats with other users, you might feel self-conscious when your marathon-running bestie doesn’t give your weekly activity score the “flame” emoji reaction you think it deserves. But remember, comparison is the thief of joy! Oh, yeah, there's also the fact that this little ring can collect a whole lot of personal information...so just remember, once that data leaves your house, it's no longer 100% in your control. And while Oura seems to do a good job with things like privacy and security, there's still some risk.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Check out Oura Ring's Safety recommendations
  • Consider turning on a “Ring airplane mode” feature which allows to proactively disable all radio transmission from the ring, which causes the ring to lose connection to the app, at the moments you do not want your data be collected.
  • Be very careful what third party companies you consent to share you health data with. If you do decided to share your health data with another company, read their privacy policy to see how they protect, secure, and share or sell your data.
  • Use your device privacy controls to limit access to your personal information via app (do not give access to your camera, microphone, images and videos)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg on iPhone go to Privacy -> Advertising -> Limit ad tracking) and biggest ad networks (for Google, go to Google account and turn off ad personalization)
  • Do not sign up with third-party accounts. Better just log in with email and strong password.
  • Chose a strong password! You may use a password control tool like 1Password, KeePass etc
  • 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 necessary)
  • Keep your app regularly updated
  • Limit ad tracking via your device (eg 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.
  • mobile

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: No

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: No

App: No

Tracks location

Device: No

App: Yes

What can be used to sign up?

What data does the company collect?

How does the company use this data?

Oura Privacy Policy

"Oura does not sell or rent your personal information, and only shares your personal data with certain trusted service providers and partners so that we can provide and improve our services, to provide partner services and other offerings, and to operate our business. Whenever we share data with third-party service providers, we require that they use your information only for the purposes we've authorized, and for the limited reasons explained in this Privacy Policy. We also require these service providers to protect your personal information to at least the same standards that we do."

"Ōura only shares website usage data with our advertising network partners for the purposes of analyzing and optimizing our marketing. Ōura does not share the Ōura Product data with third party advertisers"

"Like most companies, Ōura uses service providers for purposes such as:
providing and improving our online service platform;
storing our users' data;
providing customer services;
managing and organizing our marketing activities. Ōura only shares website usage data with our advertising network partners for the purposes of analyzing and optimizing our marketing. Ōura does not share the Ōura Product data with third party advertisers; and
analyzing information regarding the use of our online service to improve our service quality."

"We also reserve the right to disclose personal information under certain specific circumstances, including:
When we have your express consent to do so;
When it is reasonably necessary for our legitimate interests in conducting our business, such as in the event a merger, acquisition, or sale;
To protect Oura's legal rights and property; and
To comply with valid legal requirements. Oura will oppose any request to provide legal authorities with access to user data for surveillance or prosecution purposes, and will notify users if we receive any such request.

Otherwise, your personal information is never shared with any individual or other organization."

"We process marketing-related personal data to provide online advertising and Ōura marketing communications. For example, as explained more fully in our Cookie Policy, we use cookies and similar technologies on our website to create audiences for online advertisement. You can opt out of direct marketing communications."

"We process marketing data to provide online advertising and Ōura marketing communications. Ōura does not target people with online advertising based on their health data in the Oura App. "

How Oura Protects Your Data

"Oura stores personal data primarily within the geographic region where it is collected. In cases where personal data is processed outside the area it was collected, we always ensure your personal data is protected with appropriate safeguards, in accordance with applicable privacy laws. We also use industry-standard data protection measures to safeguard all international transfers of personal data through data protection agreements with our service providers."

"Oura does not sell or rent your personal information and only shares your personal data with certain trusted service providers so we can provide you with our services and operate our business. Whenever we share data with third-party service providers, we require that they use your information only for purposes you’ve authorized. We also require these service providers to protect your personal information to at least the same standards that we do. Please note that third-party integrations are only enabled with your consent; for example, by opting in to one of our participatory research studies."

Oura’s Commitment to Reproductive Health

.. "Finally, Oura will oppose any request to provide legal authorities with access to user data for surveillance or prosecution purposes, and will notify users if we receive any such request."

How can you control your data?

Oura Privacy Policy

"DATA RETENTION
The retention period for your personal data generally depends on the duration of your Ōura account lifecycle. Your personal data will be deleted when it is no longer needed for the purpose for which it was originally collected, unless we have a legal obligation to retain data for a longer period of time. For example, your measurement data regarding your sleep, readiness, and activity is stored only so long as your Ōura account is active.

Ōura also has legal obligations to retain certain personal data for a specific period of time, such as for tax purposes. These required retention periods may include, for example, accounting and tax requirements, legal claims, or for any other legal purposes. Please note that obligatory retention periods for personal data vary based on the relevant law."

"Whenever Ōura processes your data, you have certain rights that enable you to control how your personal data is being processed. This section provides you with information about each of those rights. If you wish to exercise your rights as a data subject, please contact [email protected] with your request to do so.

<...> Right to erasure

You have the right to request the deletion of your personal data in certain circumstances. We will comply with such requests unless we have a valid legal basis not to do so, or a legal obligation to preserve the data."

"Right to withdraw consent

If we have requested your consent in order to process your personal data, you have the right to withdraw your consent for such processing at any time where this right is provided by local law. It should be noted, however, that withdrawing your consent may lead to issues or restrictions on your ability to fully utilize Ōura Products.

Please note that you can always unsubscribe from receiving our newsletter and other marketing emails by using the ‘Unsubscribe' link provided in the emails you receive from us."

"If you are a California resident, you can request disclosure, access to, correction, and/or deletion of your personal data as described above by submitting a verifiable consumer request to us by:

Sending an e-mail to [email protected], including the following information along with your request: your full name, company name (if applicable), address, e-mail address, and a phone number. We may request that you provide additional information if necessary to confirm your identity. This is for security purposes, and is required by law in some cases.

Only you, or a person registered with the California Secretary of State that you authorize to act on your behalf, may make a verifiable consumer request related to your personal information. You may also make a verifiable consumer request on behalf of your minor child.

You have the right to make a free request up to two times in any 12-month period. We will respond to all validated requests within 45 days of receiving your request, unless we request an extension. In the event that we reasonably require an extension in order to respond to your request, we will notify you of any such extension within the initial 45-day period."

What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?

Average

No known privacy or security incidents discovered in the last 3 years.

Child Privacy Information

We found no specific children-related privacy information for Oura Ring

Can this product be used offline?

Yes

Your Oura Ring must be within Bluetooth range in order to sync its recorded data with the Oura App. The ring will collect data even when in Airplane Mode or not connected to the app.

User-friendly privacy information?

Yes

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Oura encrypts data in transit. We are unable to confirm if they encrypt data at rest where it is stored.

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Oura actively solicits input from the public about security vulnerabilities, including from privacy and security researchers. Security vulnerabilities can be reported here.

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

You can connect different third-party AI apps. Descriptions of most machine learning-supported features are given in our blog, together with links to publications where they exist.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

No

What kind of decisions does the AI make about you or for you?

Oura does not use AI to make automated decisions for users.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Yes

Oura provides routine updates and information regarding its development of new algorithms and its methodologies on The Pulse Blog on Oura’s website, such as the following https://ouraring.com/blog/new-sleep-staging-algorithm/.

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Yes

Oura users always have the ability to control and disable Oura’s services by request requesting account closure and deletion. Oura users can also request more information regarding the processing of their personal data by contracting [email protected].
*privacy not included

Dive Deeper

  • Oura’s Commitment to Reproductive Health
    Oura Link opens in a new tab
  • Using Oura Temperature To Track Your Menstrual Cycle
    Oura Link opens in a new tab
  • Researchers say Oura rings can predict COVID-19 symptoms three days early
    Christine Fisher Link opens in a new tab
  • The Oura Ring Is a $300 Sleep Tracker That Provides Tons of Data. But Is It Worth It?
    Wirecutter Link opens in a new tab
  • Review: Oura Ring
    Wired Link opens in a new tab
  • A smart ring shows it’s possible to detect fever before you feel it
    UC San Diego News Center Link opens in a new tab
  • UCSD Launches Study Using Oura To Explore Pregnancy
    Oura Link opens in a new tab
  • Is There Privacy with Wearables? Case Oura Ring
    Joel Latto Link opens in a new tab
  • This sleep-tracking ring can detect when you've drunk too much
    Victoria Turk Link opens in a new tab
  • Period Tracking, Abortions, and Privacy
    Medium Link opens in a new tab
  • The Whoop Strap and Oura Ring Are Measuring the Impact of Menstruation and Pregnancy on Athletes as Women's Research and Tech Finally Rise
    SportTechie Link opens in a new tab

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