Wyze Band

Wyze Band

Wyze
Bluetooth

Review date: Nov. 8, 2021

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Mozilla says

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People voted: Somewhat creepy

Wyze makes this adorable little fitness tracker designed to also control all the Wyze smart home stuff around your house like your Wyze Cam and Wyze Plug. It comes with Alexa built-in, which means this band you wear on your wrist all the time comes with a "dual microphone array" (but no speaker, so you can't ask Alexa to tell you a joke, just to turn lights on and such). It tracks all the usual, heart rate, steps, calories, and connects to your phone via Bluetooth to get alerts and share fitness data. The Wyze Band is affordable but maybe having two microphones strapped to your wrist all the time in a cheap fitness tracker from a company with a bit of a checkered privacy past could feel a little creepy?

What could happen if something goes wrong?

There’s nothing in Wyze’s privacy policy that worries us overly much. We like that Wyze does not sell your personal information. They say they can share de-identified or aggregated information with third parties, which is pretty common and not too worrisome. Although it’s a good time to remind you that it’s been found to be pretty easy to de-anonymize some types of data and track down an individual’s patterns, especially with location data. And they do some targeted advertising with data they collect. Again, this is pretty normal in our digital ad economy and nothing stands out with Wyze that concerns us too much.

The Wyze band does come with Alexa built-in, which is different from most fitness trackers. It means there are actual microphones built into the band you wear on your wrist all day. Yeah, that’s kinda creepy. Wyze does say the band only listens when you long press the home button, which we sure hope is true.

What should you know about Alexa? Amazon makes it possible to automatically delete voice recordings immediately after they are processed. That's a nice feature after the controversy around human reviewers listening in to Alexa voice recordings. However, Amazon says when you delete your voice recordings, they still can keep data of the interactions those recordings triggered. So, if you buy a pregnancy test through Amazon Alexa, they won't forget you bought that pregnancy test just because you ask them to delete the voice recording of that purchase. That record of the purchase is data they have on you going forward and may use to target you with ads for more stuff.

The biggest worry we have about Wyze is the huge data leak they suffered back in December, 2019 that exposed the personal information of 2.4 million users of their security cameras when they left a database unprotected for 22 days. That is not good, not good at all. Fortunately, Wyze jumped on fixing their epic goof, which is what you want to see when something like this happens. And as far as we can tell, Wyze hasn’t had any major security vulnerabilities or data leaks since then.

What's the worst that could happen? Oh, maybe Wyze forgets to protect their database again and leaks a bunch of your data. Someone could use your biometric data to learn your drinking habits. They see that you tend to drink a bit too much on Saturdays and start targeting you then with ads to buy those expensive records you collect. You drunk buy way too much stuff and end up deep in debt. Perhaps it's not likely to happen. It's also not out of the question.

Tips to protect yourself

  • Check Wyze security & trust tips
  • Be very careful who you chose to share your Wyze wellness data with.
  • Don't connect your Wyze app to any social networks like Facebook.
  • Enable two-factor identification
mobile Privacy warning Security A.I.

Can it snoop on me? information

Camera

Device: No

App: Yes

Microphone

Device: Yes

App: Yes

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?

Wyze does not sell your personal information. However, Wyze may share aggregated or de-identified information with third parties, under your consent. Wyze also uses your data to target advertisement.

How can you control your data?

You can request that data be deleted. Wyze may still retain cached or archived copies of information about you for a certain period of time.

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

Needs Improvement

In 2019, a massive leak happened at Wyze, exposing information from 2.4M customers. To Wyze’s credit, it has been very detailed in describing what happened, when, why, how, and what the company is doing about it.

Can this product be used offline?

No

User-friendly privacy information?

No

The privacy statement mentions audio data, but there's no explanation of what is being collected and what happens to it.

Links to privacy information

Does this product meet our Minimum Security Standards? information

Yes

Encryption

Yes

Strong password

Yes

Security updates

Yes

Manages vulnerabilities

Yes

Privacy policy

Yes

Does the product use AI? information

Yes

If you chose to connect Alexa.

Is this AI untrustworthy?

Can’t Determine

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

Voice recognition, if you chose to connect Alexa.

Is the company transparent about how the AI works?

Can’t Determine

Does the user have control over the AI features?

Can’t Determine


News

Wyze data leak: Key takeaways from server mistake that exposed information from 2.4M customers
Geek Wire
Seattle-area startup Wyze, a provider of home video cameras and other Internet of Things (IoT) devices, announced on Dec. 26 that it had been informed of a “data leak” that reportedly exposed the personal information of 2.4 million of its customers.
Wyze Cam subscriptions: What you need to know about October 9 service change
Gear Brain
It has been a busy week for smart home companies pivoting to subscription models. October 7 was the last day IFTTT granted unlimited use of its home automation platform for free, and now cut-price smart home company Wyze has begun a subscription service too.
Wyze and Guardzilla Security Cameras Have Security Risks, Consumer Reports Finds
Consumer Reports
Test engineers at Consumer Reports recently discovered multiple security vulnerabilities in two home security cameras: the Wyze Cam V2 and Guardzilla GZ360. These lapses could give hackers access to information that may compromise a user’s account or home network.

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