New no-upload option in Garmin Connect
Finally, you can use the Connect Mobile app with your Garmin Fenix or other wearable, without having to upload your data.
The information here has been corrected since the first post on February 25; you can easily grant and revoke the upload permission at any time.
For everyone in Europe who did not want their activity and fitness tracking data uploaded to Garmin servers in the US, and therefore was unable to use the app, there is great news:
You can chose ‘Decline consent’ when the updated Connect Mobile app starts up for the first time. You are then warned about the functionality you will not be able to use.
But the list of the functionality that will work is longer:
Smart notifications (email, text, phone, and any app that generate notifications. You configure from which apps notifications are forwarded to your wearable)
Connect IQ appstore (watchfaces, widgets, apps for your device)
GPS ephemeris data updates (EPO.BIN)
Device software updates
All apps and widgets that depend on online data (weather, maps, reminders, etc)
As usual, activity and fitness tracking data can be downloaded to your own system via USB. None of it will be uploaded to Garmin. Even the device settings are not overwritten anymore, so for example the frequency of writing Monitor files remains the same as you may have set it yourself.
When you choose “Manage your permissions” in Device Settings, a screen appears that gives access to the “Consent” dialog as shown above.
Once the consent is given, it can be revoked via Settings -> Profile and Privacy -> Data -> Data Upload. Note that this option does not show, if no devices are paired at that time, and then you’ll have to email Garmin to delete the account (or pair a device).
Improvement is still possible: until April 2015 the Connect app contained a simple switch to allow or inhibit uploading, per device. Which is ideal when you would like to upload activities from for example a bike GPS but not from a wrist-worn device.
The consent must also be given when you manually upload an activity to the Garmin Connect website. After that you’ll have to revoke the consent via the app. It is best to use another account for incidental uploads of activity files.
And the good news doesn’t stop here! Deleting fitness tracking data (steps, sleep, all-day heart rate) from Garmin Connect used to be impossible. But since a couple of months you can do that! On the top right of one the fitness data day-view screens, click on the cog icon, and an option to delete the data for that day is listed. You can delete everything from yesterday and earlier. Of course this will be a lot of work if there are many days to delete, in which case a browser automation tool like Selenium may come in handy.