Fitness trackers are super popular right now, but some are starting to question the security of these trackers. At the same time that Apple is fighting a massive court case dealing with encryption policies and user security, fitness trackers of various types are starting to worry those that have connected the tracking dots.
Fitness trackers were developed so that you can keep track of how many steps you take per day. The idea behind this is that with every step, you are burning calories. So the truly fitness dedicated set will run around all day long in order to burn those extra calories or cookies. It all sounds really beneficial until you consider what fitness trackers actually do - track.
Just like any other device that keeps tabs on your whereabouts, a fitness tracker logs information about you, where you are during the day and at what time of day, and where you have been while using the tracker. Since most people do not remove fitness trackers during any given day, all of this information is continuously stored.
The Security Problem
As you’re reading this, various court cases are being fought in the U.S. that have a lot to do with fitness tracking data. In once instance, the data that had been stored is being used against a person claiming she was in a different location (the tracker says differently). In the other case, a trackers is being used to prove limited motions following an accident. In both cases, the data that has been gathered from fitness trackers was accessible and easy to gather.
If you’re going to use a fitness tracker, you can’t really stop hackers or other people (possibly courts in the future, who knows) from gathering data that shows the time and place of your every movement. But, you can be more aware that you are wearing a tracker, so maybe just keep this in mind when you do record your steps - it may just keep people more honest, you never know!
Hackers can also access fitness tracker data as simply as they can tap into your phone or personal computer. Remember that any device that tracks anything you do - from your cellphone to your fitness tracker is collecting data. Companies like Apple are fighting hard to prevent governments and others from easily gathering this data, but it is still available and stored.
Bumping Up Security
It’s kind of tough for fitness tracker companies to make trackers completely encrypted. After all, sharing this kind of fitness data with others that use trackers is what these communities are all about, and the point of a tracker is to track your every movement, so it’s hard to take off the tracker (would kind of defeat the purpose!).
But companies that develop trackers might be looking to make these devices more secure in the future. This way, people can track steps and keep calorie counts without worrying about data being gathered and used against them. In the time being, remember that a tracker does keep track!