Privacy Notice

Participant Information

Ethical approval for the development and use of the HandsOn app has been granted by the Ethics Committee of the Universität der Bundeswehr München.

We are an international group of researchers from around Europe and we want to understand how touch is perceived and impacts wellbeing. 

Our team is composed of Prof. Merle Fairhurst, Prof. Francis McGlone, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Despina Michael-Grigoriou, Dr Domna Banakou

Through our app, you can listen to insightful expert talking-head videos and try out a host of interactive exercises that help you learn more about touch and what it means to you. If you opt-in, we get useful data on how different kinds of touch are perceived. Any data you choose to share with us is sent to our secure server in an anonymised form. To collect these data, we need to have your consent.

Please read the rest of the information carefully. You can find it again at any time in the “About” section of the app. Additionally, you can contact our team at any time with questions, comments or suggestions about our app at


Why have I been asked to take part?

We want to investigate one of our most important senses, our sense of touch. Perhaps surprisingly, it also happens to be one of the senses we know the least about. Our main aim, spurred on by the COVID pandemic and the impacts discussed in the global media, is to offer a solution to feelings of “touch hunger” while also giving you a chance to learn about what touch means to you.


What will happen?

You will provide some basic demographic information and confirm some settings in order to sign up. These may include your age, gender and country of residence. You do not have to provide any information that you are uncomfortable with. After that, you’re free to watch our expert talking-head videos and to try out the exercises. If you agree to send us your data using the opt-in checkbox when you set up your profile, we’ll get useful data sent to our server once a week that will help us promote research. You may also be asked to fill in some questionnaires from time to time that may involve questions about your mood, behaviour and feelings. You do not have to answer those questions if you do not want to. You may also opt-out of sharing your data at any time by unchecking the box in the “About” section of the app.


How long will it take?

The sign-up process should take no more than a minute or so.  Each video and exercises takes about 2 minutes to watch or do.


Will taking part help me?

Our exercises are primarily based on empirical research tested in the laboratory and based on our preliminary data, these app-based versions have shown to improve mood and wellbeing. Importantly, by sharing your data, you will have helped with important research. By understanding how different types of touch is perceived, we hope to help those with disturbances in body and touch perception and strengthen our understanding of the link between touch and well being. You will have contributed towards this.


Will taking part be bad for me in any way?

All the measures are safe. The risk of harm from taking part will be no greater than in ordinary life.


What data will I be sharing?

Your ratings (mood map, “has this exercise helped”, the image maps where you colour in your virtual body based on your touch preferences), the basic details you give us and your responses to occasional questionnaires will be sent to us. No passive data, such as GPS location, will be collected.


What will you do with this data?

Firstly, you will be able to look back on some of the outputs from your usage of the app including tracking your mood over sessions, which exercises you have tried and any notes you made after having tried them, and body image maps. These can be viewed in your Dashboard. This data is saved on your mobile device. If you choose to anonymously share your data with us, for our part, we will use it for our academic research.  We’ll apply statistical methods to combine and compare responses from everyone taking part. We’ll publish the results of our research in scientific journals. The papers will be available to read online – go to the news page on our website to see details of recent studies.


Is it anonymous?

Yes. The data collection is anonymous and furthermore we won’t use your information at any point to try to identify you. We don’t ask for your name or for any other personal details, and we don’t need your phone number to send notifications to your phone. We will never sell your data to any third party. We may make anonymous data available for further research by other parties such as academic researchers at other institutions.


Is it secure?

The data is not encrypted before it is submitted over the internet. However, no personal information is used by the app or sent to us.


Do I have to take part in the research to use the app?

If you don’t want to take part in the research, go to the app “About” screen and uncheck the ‘Agree with anonymous data sharing’ at any time. You will still be able to use all of the app functions. If you change your mind, you can check the setting to again share your data with us at any time.


Is it easy to get out of?

Taking part is completely voluntary. You can change your preference in the “About” menu at any time and without giving a reason. You can decide not to send us data from your use of the app by uncheck the ‘Agree with anonymous data sharing’ at any time. This option will keep the data that you have already sent us, but prevents any new transmission of your data.

You can also withdraw your consent completely from the experiment at any time. To do this, go to the app ‘Profile’ section and choose ‘Withdraw consent’ option. This will delete your data from our data store. However, we won’t be able to remove any data that have already been processed or made available for further research.

You can also just delete this app from your device at any time, although after you do this, you won’t be able to withdraw your consent and we cannot delete the data that you have already provided.


Data Protection Privacy Notice:


The controller for this project will be Universität der Bundeswehr München

This ‘local’ privacy notice sets out the information that applies to this particular study. 

The information that is required to be provided to participants under data protection legislation (GDPR and DPA 2018) is provided across both the ‘local’ and ‘general’ privacy notices.

The lawful basis that will be used to process your personal data is: ‘Public task’ for personal data.

Your personal data will be processed so long as it is required for the research project. If we are able to anonymise or pseudonymise the personal data you provide, we will undertake this, and will endeavour to minimise the processing of personal data wherever possible.

If you are concerned about how your personal data is being processed, or if you would like to contact us about your rights, please contact in the first instance at


Who is funding the research?

This research has been funded by the Universität der Bundeswehr München and this project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 739578 and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus through the Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development.

How much data does it use?

Once downloaded and installed, the app should take approximately 79MBs.  The videos are hosted on the HandsOn YouTube channel. The exercises and questionnaires are well optimized such that the loading of exercises and collection of your data should be smooth and will not require an extensive data usage.

Enabling your mobile data may incur some costs. 


I have another question…

If there’s anything else you’d like to know, please contact us:

– email at

– visit the homepage