How Safe Is Your Fitness Tracker? Hackers Steal Data from Fitness Tracking Devices to Sell To Companies

The new report was released by researchers at American University and the Center for Digital Democracy in Washington. This issue is concerning for those who use fitness trackers to monitor their performance during their personal fitness training regime

‘ A few of the very features that make mobile and wearable devices so promising also raise severe issues,’ report authors Kathryn Montgomery, Jeff Chester, and Katharina Kopp have actually stated.

‘ Because of their capability to collect and use big quantities of individual data– and, in particular, sensitive health data– this new age of digital tools brings with it a host of personal privacy, security, and other threats.

 

‘ As making use of trackers, wise watches, Internet-connected clothing, and other wearables ends up being more widespread, and as their performances end up being much more sophisticated, the extent and nature of data collection will be unmatched.

‘ These data can, in turn, be combined with individual information from other sources– including health-care companies and drug companies– raising such potential harms as prejudiced profiling, manipulative marketing, and information breaches.’

The report likewise warned of the danger of data falling into the hands of hackers and other unethical individuals.

 

In accordance with the Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC records that there were 253 health-care breaches throughout the United States in 2015 that affected 500 individuals or more, leading to a combined loss of over 112 million records.

‘ The chances for data breaches will increase, with hackers accessing medical and health info at insurance companies, retail chains, and other services,’ the report included.

‘ Even those organizations with the most kindhearted of goals– such as public-health departments, police, and research entities– can misuse and misuse health data.

 

‘The threats extend beyond hazards to specific privacy. Algorithmic category systems might allow profiling and discrimination– based on ethnic background, age, gender, medical condition, and other details– across a spectrum of fields, such as employment, education, insurance, finance, criminal justice, and social services, impacting not only people however also groups and society at large.

‘ Many of the damages related to the collection and processing of such data, moreover, are likely to affect disproportionately the most susceptible people in our society, consisting of the sickest, the poorest, and those with the least education.’

Companies specialising in fitness training wearables have acted fast to assure clients that their information is safe.

A Jawbone representative said: ‘At Jawbone, we completely appreciate the personal privacy of our users and Jawbone sticks to the best industry requirements when it concerns securing information and individual info. We only share user data if the user asks us to – for example to integrate with a 3rd party app.

‘We are custodians of the user’s data. We gather it, examine it, and present it back to the user with meaning. The user may provide us consent to share that information. They can download their data and take it somewhere else. And they can ask us to delete it (which we will do).

‘We also assist in users to request removal of their information from any third party apps that may be linked to UP by Jawbone.