For the last few months this has been in the news with the “rash” caused by using one of their products, so in addition to selling your data profiles, one device gave you a rash on top. Of course this was something missed in the product design with allergies and years ago too we didn’t have the information that identified “peanut allergies” either, so this looks to be along that same line in a day and era where consumer expectations are high, but they don’t always get met. The company did a recall but as you can see here with consumers it appears it’s not good enough.
You also have Jawbone out there in the wearable business collecting data and again I’m a privacy advocate so I tend to stay away from such devices as they rely on revenue streams of selling data I think to stay in business. We’ve never been able to see what they are, but they are there and when you look at the likes of Walgreens making over a billion a year selling data, that might give you a clue in all of this.
Jawbone Buys BodyMedia. Launches New “Up App” Platform–Partnerships Allow for More of Your Data and Profiles To Be Sold As Data Selling Epidemic Continues to Grow
This one was pretty funny a short while back with security and data with some fools wearing their devices during sex and then a security issue putting them up on the web with a Google search.
Fitbit Profile Sexual Activity Shows Up In Google Search Results–Default Privacy Settings Allow Search Engines To Post
Then this guy wanted “all” his data as Fitbit only allows what they want you to have so he hacked it.
So is having your data and stats worth a rash I guess is the question at hand here. This is pretty typical of how it works out there today. I have talked to quite a few folks who have used a Fitbit and other devices and many of them use them for a few months and then they get busy and don’t have the time to interact with the data anymore it they get put in a drawer for one and others just get bored with it. Again we have the “behavioral data” that gets sold here too so again something to think about if you like privacy with all of them. There is the “open sensor” device in the works that will let you “choose” your apps so maybe in the future the choice will be there to be able to choose a non data selling app too? Most efforts like this go to crowd funding as it’s hard to get a VC in on this as they can’t substantiate a quick enough revenue stream mostly. BD
Open Sensor Company, Angel Raises Over $300k With Crowd Funding–You Will Be Able to Choose Your Own mHealth Apps And Avoid Those That Sell Your Data (Video)
In a Jan. 14 post on the company’s website, Fitbit Chief Executive James Park said the cause of the irritations was most likely an allergic reaction to nickel, a component of the Force which is also found in many everyday consumer products. The company began to offer refunds for dissatisfied customers. As complaints mounted, Mr. Park released a statement on Feb. 14 asserting that the company’s continued investigation pointed to “allergic contact dermatitis.” A week later, the company announced it was halting sales of the Force and issuing a voluntary recall of the product.A month after Fitbit issued a recall of its fitness-tracking bracelet following complaints of blisters and rashes, the startup now faces its first lawsuit.
The suit, filed on Monday in the Superior Court of California in the County of San Diego, is seeking class-action status and alleges the company misled consumers in promoting and advertising the Fitbit Force device
Other law firms also are planning legal action related to the Fitbit Force. “We have fielded hundreds of calls on this,” says Matt Schelkopf, a partner with the Haverford, Pa., law firm Chimicles & Tikellis which specializes in class action suits. Mr. Schelkopf says he has not yet filed any suits but intends to.