Sensor & Usage Data & Privacy

You can choose to share Sensor & Usage Data with research study apps and studies that meet certain requirements. You can manage the collection and use of your information for each study you are enrolled in and you can stop sharing data with any study at any time.

Sensor & Usage Data is designed to protect your information and enable you to choose what you share.

You can choose to share with research studies certain information about your engagement with sensors on or paired to your iOS and watchOS devices and your interaction with your devices and software. This Sensor & Usage Data may include sources of information that are otherwise unavailable to these apps.

Sensor & Usage Data will only be shared with a study after you have authorised the sharing of the information. This information is available only to research studies you choose to enrol in. Apple requires that research study apps and studies meet certain requirements before they can request access to Sensor & Usage Data, including:

  • The research study app must be primarily designed to conduct health and wellness research.

    • The research study app developer must agree to certain restrictions on the collection, use and sharing of data, including using only the Sensor & Usage Data you authorise for the research study for which it is collected or accessed.

  • Each study must be reviewed by a research ethics committee.

Types of Data

Sensor data is derived from iOS and watchOS sensors such as light sensor, accelerometer and gyroscope, or other devices you may use as part of a research study. This may include metrics and estimates derived from iOS, watchOS or other paired sensors. For example, high-fidelity measurements of your face position or characteristics of your voice. This information does not include raw audio data or photos.

Usage data is information about how you use and interact with your iOS and watchOS devices and software. For example, this may include information about keyboard usage, the number of messages you send, the number of calls you make and receive, the categories of apps you use, the categories of websites you visit and when you wear your Apple Watch.

For certain Sensor & Usage Data, the information made available to the research study app may be more detailed or of a higher resolution than the data made available to other apps.

Sharing and Storage of Data

Sensor & Usage Data is grouped into categories such as Motion, Speech, Pedometer and Messages, and you can control the categories you share with each research study you join. During enrolment, a research study app requesting access to Sensor & Usage Data will ask you on a per-category basis if you would like to share the data. You can view the apps and studies you are sharing Sensor & Usage Data with, as well as the categories of data you are sharing, at any time in Settings > Privacy & Security > Research Sensor & Usage Data.

Sensor & Usage Data is collected on the watchOS or iOS devices as part of a research study, with your consent. The data is stored on your iOS device for approximately one day before it is shared with any approved study. During this period, you may delete data and it will not be shared with any study. Sensor & Usage Data is also stored on your iOS devices for seven days. After seven days, it will be deleted from your iOS devices and will not be shared with any studies you later authorise.

You can stop sharing Sensor & Usage Data at any time by going to Settings > Privacy & Security > Research Sensor & Usage Data. If you choose to stop sharing Sensor & Usage Data with a research study, no future data will be shared with the study. However, the study will continue to have access to any data you previously shared. You cannot delete or unshare Sensor & Usage Data that has already been shared. If you stop sharing data with a research study or delete the research study app, you might not be withdrawn from the study. If you would like to withdraw from a study, you should follow the directions in that study consent.

Published Date: September 12, 2022