New App, “Foodvisor” Tracks What You Eat

Laura BednarCybersecurity and VulnerabilitiesLeave a Comment

Foodvisor Phone Photos

Consumers already monitor their health and step count with phones and smartwatches, but a new app has taken healthy living to a new level. “Foodvisor” is an app that allows users to log everything they eat on their phone.

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How it Works

Users simply take a picture of their food before they eat it, as many do for an Instagram-worthy post anyway. The app then uses deep learning to recognize the image at hand and detect the type of food you are eating as well as the weight of each item.

The learning algorithm also calculates the distance between your plate and the phone by using camera autofocus data. This allows “Foodvisor” to calculate the area of each food item and the volume depending on the food type.

Deep learning algorithms are a subset of machine learning modeled after the human brain. This form of artificial intelligence figures out a problem after repeatedly performing a task. The more often the machine learns and the more human-like experience they have, the better they are at figuring out a problem. This was the goal of the “Foodvisor” app, to make the data entry process as seamless as possible for those who track their nutrition.

Results Beyond Healthy Eating

The app founders believe that people give up on nutrition trackers because it is too demanding. Their creation requires only a picture of the food before giving nutrition facts about what a user eats including:

  • Calories
  • Carbs
  • Fats
  • Proteins
  • Fibers

Users then set a goal, log their activities, and monitor their dieting progress over a period of time. So far there have been 1.8 million app downloads and has raised $1.5 million. Premium subscriptions to the app cost money but allow users to chat with a registered dietician or nutritionist one on one.

What Data Does Foodvisor Collect?

Phones are constantly collecting personal data whether it be your location or auto-filling your password to your online banking app. While General Data Protection Regulations have helped to increase user privacy and give consumers more control over how their data is used, these rules have not done much for national privacy in the United States.

According to the Foodvisor app website, they “may be required, as part of its business, to collect personal information. This includes but is not limited to names, first names, email addresses, home addresses, or phone numbers.”

Additionally, the collected personal data can be stored and processed in any country where Foodvisor or their affiliates, subsidiaries, or agents operate. While the security of personally identifiable information seems to be elusive these days, eating habits add a whole new layer of data for cybercriminals to store.

Cyberthreats Don’t Slim Down

“In terms of risk, I look at the long-term impact of trusting your food intake to third parties. Although Foodvisor’s terms are straightforward in what they collect, they don’t claim to anonymize any information shared with partners, meaning last night’s pizza party could travel well beyond your phone and Foodvisor’s servers,” said Director of Forensics for SecureForensics, Allan Buxton.

He continued by saying that in the same way that smart lights and thermostats give insight into when an individual leaves for work or arrives home, when someone takes a picture of their food before eating, they provide insight into when they eat and the time elapsed while eating.

“If dining out, wrappers or plates may also yield location data. Whether or not those risks outweigh the potential benefits of insight into meal composition is an answer up to the individual,” Buxton said.

The experts at Secure Forensics have experience identifying and putting an end to data breaches and offers mobile phone forensics. Our certified examiners will create a court-admissible report of the cybercrime to prove your case in a court of law. Call 1-800-288-1407 to learn more about how our services can help you.