Warning: *privacy not included with this product
Whistle GO Explore
Have you ever thought, "I need a fitness tracker for my dog?!" If so, the Whistle GO Explore is for you. This little doohickey attaches to your dog's collar and lets you track where she is while also monitoring her activity. It combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular tech to track your pup at all times (only in North America, sorry rest of the world), alert you if she leaves a "safe area," and lets you know if she is getting enough exercise. It even monitors if your pup is licking, scratching, or sleeping too much and offers access to tele-vets. It does require a monthly or yearly subscription to do all this. You'll love it. Your dog might find it pretty creepy.
What could happen if something goes wrong?
Whistle collects personal information on you such as age, gender, hobby or activities, taste or preferences, and geolocation data. They collect your information on your dog like your pup's breed, birthday, treatment history, and location too. They also say they may get even more personal information on you from third parties, such as data brokers or social media platforms. And they say they use all this data they collect on you and your pet to do, among other things, targeted advertising. So if you visit one of those big box stores with your pup, that could mean lots of ads following you around afterwards. Finally, Whistle may sell or share anonymized data to third parties. This is a good time to point out that many privacy researchers claim it can be relatively easy to de-anonymize such data, especially location data.
Another thing to consider, this device uses all the tracking and connection tech — GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth. That's a lot of connectivity. That could turn creepy if someone with bad intentions wanted to know more about you and your best friend too. Here’s hoping none of this data gets leaked on the internet where people could learn you and your dog are actually kinda lazy….or worse.
Tips to protect yourself
- Follow the Whistle FAQ's Safety-realted rules
What can be used to sign up?
What data does the company collect?
How does the company use this data?
How can you control your data?
What is the company’s known track record of protecting users’ data?
In 2018, security researchers discovered that the Whistle 3 tracker transmitted data to the server without any authentication. This means that anyone could substitute it, altering the coordinates in the process.
Can this product be used offline?
User-friendly privacy information?
Links to privacy information
Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards?
Encrypts data in transit and at rest. Selectively encrypts sensitive payloads in accordance with Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth) standards.
Whistle uses third party security services to perform routine security assessments at predefined intervals. It also utlizes its beta client pool to receive and address bugs.
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