Technology

The Apple study accidentally collected too much user data

Apple proposed a hearing health study in partnership with the University of Michigan. However, the data collection did not go as planned. Study participants were notified by email today.

Here is the full email

Thank you for participating in the Apple Hearing Study. When you signed up for the study, you gave your consent to the collection of certain types of data on headphone noise levels, ambient noise levels, heart rate, and physical activity. This data is collected to help researchers listed on the consent form understand the relationship between long-term exposure to noise and its effects on hearing health. We recently learned that due to an error after enrolling in the study, Apple’s listening study inadvertently collected up to 30 days of historical data for these allowable data types. The study only collected data after obtaining your consent. However, the consent form for the study does not indicate that historical data will be collected.

The error has now been fixed with an update of the study app and the historical data previously received has been removed. We are committed to your privacy and will monitor further historical data and delete it as it comes in until you update your Apple Research app. Please update your Apple Research app to the latest version to receive the update.

At no point did Apple have access to any information gathered by the Apple Research app that could directly identify you. You can find more information about the data collected, the storage of your data and the transfer of your data for the purposes of the study in the consent form for the study.

Apple offers some health studies in the United States. At the moment there is nothing in France or the other countries. But who knows, it might come in time.

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