Reviewed October 1st, 2020
privacy guide
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Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin Ltd.


This fitness tracker does all the fitness tracking stuff like activity, calories, heart rate, sleep monitoring and more. Also, this small bracelet can track the time interval in between each heartbeat and use that to figure out your stress levels. There’s a feature that will vibrate and remind you to try and breath and relax if your stress level gets too high. This tool can either be very helpful, or annoying depending on how stressed you are. A continously buzzing tracker may not be useful to you at all.

Breach History

Has there ever been a breach or data leak?


Date of last breach

July 2020

A Russian hacking group known as Evil Corp encrypted much of Garmin's user data in a ransomware attack, and demanded $10 million to retrieve it. Many of Garmin's services were down during this time, however, it is not clear if any information was stolen in this attack or if it was merely locked in order to bargain for a ransom.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?


Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?


Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?


Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?


Does it have parental controls?


Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?


Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?


Does it require you to create a strong password?


Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?


Does it have a privacy policy?


How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?


Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?


Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?


Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?


Does it require a phone number to use?


Does it require an address (home or office) to use?


Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?


Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?


Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?


Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?


What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Garmin seems to manage well with privacy and security and de-identifies the data it collects. However, depending on the kind of data, it is pretty easy to de-anonymize the data sets and track down the user's patterns, specifically location data. So, just be aware you are strapping on a device that tracks your location, heart rate, sleep patterns, and more. A lot of private information in one place!

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

With your consent, Garmin can use de-identified data for product improvement and analytics. This means Garmin strips your data of personal information and then combines it with other user data.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Manages vulnerabilites quickly and has a privacy page that explains privacy practices in a simple and easily understood language.
  • De-intentifies the data it collects so it is not personally identifiable.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • A lot of personal information in one place, there is always a possibility even though Garmin is secure. If you are okay with that and willing to risk it, than this item should suffice.

Final Thoughts

Garmin was recently the target of a ransomware attack which locked all user information until a ransom was paid. While it does not appear any information was stolen in this attack, it proves that Garmin may not be the most secure company to have copies of yours or your child's personal information. Use this product with extreme caution.

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