Dec 142015
 

Apps that collect and store health-related information are often not covered by HIPAA, but a breach involving the data they collect could be problematic. Today, I report on two leaking apps containing health information. Both of these leaks were reported to DataBreaches.net by researcher Chris Vickery. Part 1, below, is on iFit’s data leak. Part 2 will report on Hzone’s leak of very sensitive information of people who are HIV-positive.

ifit

iFit advertises that its fitness app will revolutionize the way you work out. Its technology is also incorporated in exercise equipment provided by NordicTrack and others.  But  576,274 of its users may not know that their personal health-related information was available for download by anyone.

iFit’s privacy policy describes the extensive types of information about you it collects: name, user name, password, date of birth, current weight, target weight, height, gender, measurement system, activity level, fitness goal, intensity level,  and the retail location where you purchased your iFit® equipment.If you use a credit card to pay for any of their services or products, they ask for your name, address, credit card and credit card-related information. Once you have created an account, you may complete your profile by providing additional personally identifiable Information. And if you connect your Site account with your Facebook account, they will have access to the publicly available information from your Facebook page, and Facebook will have access to information you log through the Site while logged into your Site account through Facebook. And oh yes, when your equipment/device is connected to your account, they may gather information about you and your workouts, such as your heart rate, workout settings, duration of your workout, and the date and time of your workout.

Vickery notified [email protected] of his findings on December 10. When they didn’t respond promptly, he submitted a support ticket on December 11. That seemed to get their attention. They informed him that it was a several-years-old database in a test environment that contained real data.

DataBreaches.net emailed iFit on December 12 to ask for how long the data was exposed/leaking,  whether the database had been accessed by anyone other than Vickery, whether they would be notifying their users, and whether there was any contractor involved in securing the database. iFit did not respond as of the time of this posting.

This post will be updated as more information becomes available. But think about this: would these same data, if held by a hospital or doctor, require a notification? Maybe you may not care about these data types of your health information, but would your employer or insurer be interested? And if so, shouldn’t you care about protecting the information?

Update: Sure enough, right after I post, I receive an email response to my inquiry from their General Counsel:

Thank you for your recent inquiry. Please note, ICON Health & Fitness, Inc. takes data security very seriously. Accordingly, we have retained outside experts to investigate this matter. Please feel free to direct future correspondence to me.

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