Symple symptom journal and health diary


Thoughts on Privacy

This morning, I received an email from Carol who asked two important and related questions: 

  1. Will data entered into my iPhone show up on my iPad?
  2. If the app is free, how are you making money?

1.  The data is not stored in the cloud, and therefore is only viewable on the device into which it was entered. In fact, your data never leaves your device unless you create and email a backup file or doctor's report. 

To make your data viewable across devices, we must build and deploy a cloud based backend. But we are taking our time to ensure that our solution is robust and secure. When it's finished, we will charge you an annual subscription fee to store and maintain your data, provide access across devices, and permit access to an expanded feature set. 

2.  As far as how we make money, that is a great question, and I am so glad you asked. Anyone using an app to store sensitive information should think about this, weigh the answer, and decide if the benefits of using an app outweigh the risks.

Right now, we are funded through the purchase of our premium service. Upon deployment of our backend, that purchase will change from a one-time fee to a recurring (aka subscription) fee. 

We also plan to build modules that will allow you to easily share data with electronic medical records or researchers. But that interaction will always begin with your deliberately and knowingly opting in. 

Finally, we will forever store the least amount of personally identifiable information necessary, and we will store it separately from the data itself.

These are hefty requirements that we have put upon ourselves. But we do this because it's what we want and need for ourselves and our families. We truly are our own first and most demanding audience. 

Thanks for asking, and I will post this answer on our website because everyone should be asking these questions of every service they use.