Garmin Forerunner Series

Garmin Forerunner Series

Garmin $169 - $599
Bluetooth

Review date: 11/02/2020

If you're looking for a gadget that knows more about you than you know about yourself, this is it. The list of sensors on these watches include GPS, glonass, galileo, heart rate, barometric altimeter, compass, gyroscope, accelerometer, thermometer, and pulse ox. All those sound super cool. super nerdy, and super all up in your business. Not only do these watches have a zillion sensors, they also handle your music, calendar, texts, have the ability to up your golf game (seriously), and even gives you a way to send an alert if you've fallen and can't get up.

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.

Privacy

Can it snoop on me?

Camera

Device: No

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: No

App: No

Tracks Location

Device: Yes

App: Yes

What is required to sign up?

What data does it collect?

How can you control your data?

You can choose not to sync the device with the app. You can request that data be deleted.

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

Average

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?

Yes

User friendly privacy information?

Yes

Links to privacy information

Security

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?

Yes

Uses encryption in transit and at rest.

Encryption

Yes

Uses encryption in transit and at rest.

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Garmin doesn't have an official bug bounty program, but it invites responsible disclosure of security vulnerabilities.

Privacy policy

Yes

Garmin has a privacy summary page that highlights the high level points in a easy to read format.

Artificial Intelligence

Does the product use AI?

Yes

Does the AI use your personal data to make decisions about you?

No

Does the company allow users to see how the AI works?

Unknown

Company contact info

Updates

Ransomware attack on Garmin thought to be the work of 'Evil Corp'
The Guardian
A ransomware attack that took the GPS and smartwatch business Garmin entirely offline for more than three days is believed to have been carried out by a Russian cybercriminal gang which calls itself “Evil Corp”. Garmin began to restore services to customers on Monday morning, after being held hostage for a reported ransom of $10m, although some services were still operating with limited functionality.

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