Kinsa Smart Thermometers

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.

Privacy

Can it snoop on me?

Camera

Device: No

App: No

Microphone

Device: No

App: No

Tracks Location

Device: No

App: Yes

What is required to sign up?

What data does it collect?

How does it use this data?

Kinsa will aggregate your 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 infections disease.

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

No known incidents in the last 2 years.

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

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Not applicable

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Security findings can be reported online to security@kinsahealth.com

Privacy policy

Yes

Kinsa has a page detailing their privacy principles.

Artificial Intelligence

Does the product use AI?

Yes

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

Yes

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

Unknown

Kinsa aggregates personal health information to identify and map disease outbreak.

Company contact info

Phone Number

No

Live Chat

No

Twitter

No

Updates

“Smart” thermometer identifies likely pandemic hotspots
Jeff Rowe
A higher-than-expected concentration of people with fevers is considered one of the leading indicators of infection with the COVID-19 virus, and the combination of a digital "smart" thermometer and a paired phone app is enabling one company to provide real-time insights into emerging infection hot spots.

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