Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use my information?

We use your information to build datasets to enable research to better understand health and wellbeing. (This means that your information will form part of a much larger dataset; we will never individually examine your profile, pictures, etc.) In particular, we will use your information to drive our mission, which is to empower post-9/11 veterans to easily identify services they need, engage with their communities, and lead rich, meaningful lives. Scientific breakthroughs are often based on collaboration, and that depends on having a common data set. We are thankful and thrilled that you want to help us.

What information are you talking about?

We currently collect messages posted publicly to family and friends on social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (not private or direct messages), wearable sensor information like FitBit, and workout information like Runkeeper. We don't cover every social media platform and data source yet, but we are working to expand what can be donated. We may expand the types of information you can donate in the future. If you sign up, we will update you and seek your permission to add other networks and information sources.

How can my donation be most effective?

Connect as many networks as possible and complete the questionnaire. There's no information like more information! The more networks you can connect, the more useful your information is to us. Facebook information is useful, but it only paints part of the picture. Facebook and Fitbit is better; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Fitbit is better still. Our algorithms depend on having many views on a person's life, each additional source makes your donation more useful.

That's only half the story though; knowing more about your health and wellbeing is critical to understanding what the information is showing. Filling out the questionnaire as best you can will make your donation most effective.

Will you post any messages to my social media accounts?

No. We use this information only for the research purposes described above. Whenever possible, we opt for the most restrictive set of authorizations required to read the information needed for this research. We will never seek the ability to add content to your social media account.

Can I donate information for a deceased loved one whose account we don't have the password for?

If you know the passwords for the accounts from which you wish to donate information, yes. If not, you can still donate your loved one’s information if you have access to a computer or mobile device where the loved on is already logged in. Just access your OurDataHelps account from that device and link the accounts. Without the password to the account or such a device, you cannot grant us access to the person's information.

Why ask for a birth date?

To calculate age. If you don’t feel comfortable, change the day and provide only an accurate month/year. The ability to break the datasets up into accurate groups by age is critical.

I have a Garmin fitness tracker, can I connect it?

Sadly, no. Garmin charges $5000.00 for the API access that would allow us to collect that data. Let Garmin know they could help us improve health and wellbeing research if they make their API more open.

I have an account that stores information you might find useful, but it's not listed. Will you add it?

Quite possibly, in time. We are working to add more networks and we’ll send out an email as we get those up and working.

How often will you contact me?

Very infrequently. We also have too much email. We expect to send you only a handful of emails per year. For more frequent updates, you can subscribe to our mailing list. We will share major accomplishments made possible by your data. We will share major milestones and events. We will share beta-testing offers. We offer you control as part of the signup process to control what we will contact you about. If you'd rather we never contact you again, we will absolutely respect that — and we will take this opportunity here to thank you for your data donation then.