Photographed By Jessica Nash.
Fitness bands are great, right? All of us at R29 Wellness swear by them and wear them religiously. We love tracking our steps and the calories we burn throughout the day. But, there is one thing we never thought about. What happens to all that data that Nike, Jawbone, and Fitbit have on the way we walk, run, and live?
Mother Jones is reporting that the Federal Trade Commission is concerned about your fitness data making it into the wrong hands. While Nike, Fitbit and Garmin have already denied any efforts to sell your information, the fact remains that these devices collect tons of valuable intel from their users that many companies would kill for. The scary part: The privacy policies of these companies seem to allow them to share your data with third parties, if they so choose.
It's worth noting here that even if these companies never sell your data, the social-media aspects of these systems allow public access to users' profiles. This means that whatever activity you logged, whether it was a short jog or a romp in the sack, is all too visible on Google.
Ok, so it's not exactly the NSA surveillance scandal, but it looks like there might be cause for alarm. Privacy experts are concerned that the information these companies have is so detailed that third parties would have a complete field day. A person's Fitbit could enable companies to do everything from accurately guessing your credit rating to pricing an insurance premium. And, even the CIA is enticed. Ira Hunt, the agency's chief tech officer, had this to say about fitness bands: "What’s really most intriguing is that you can be 100% guaranteed to be identified by simply your gait — how you walk." Ok, officially creeped out now. (Mother Jones)