All of these tracking devices are nice and offer a lot of information.  I look at the practical side here from a couple views.  I see people buying them and using for a while but then it also seems like there’s a period to where the “novelty” wears off too, in other words used it for a while and then people are so busy today with other items and keeping up with analytics and other software items that they just put it aside.  Use it for a while and then it gets put away.  We do that with a lot of things we buy though, not just tracking devices and there’s so many out there.  I have heard this a lot with Fitbit.  A consumer uses it for a while and then they get tired of it, bored with it or flat out just don’t use it anymore for other reasons. 

In the privacy area it’s really just kind of too bad that this entire industry model was built and evolves around selling your data or data profiles.  This model has been around for quite a while, since devices with web connections started and I have covered that here, again in my advocacy for the consumer to let people know how this all works so they can make a decision and are informed all the way around about their data. 

I spoke from the beginning that to have such devices connect without a web app to a non tethered PHR would be great, that way the consumer has their data and can make a decision on what they want to share instead of being “up for sale” just by using a device.  Here’s a flash back to 2009 below where I spoke about this, so here we are 4 years later and the data collection and selling has become even more profitable and luring.  I basically said the same thing back then, look around for a device that doesn’t have a “date selling web app or site” attached to it so you are in control.   Those are getting harder to find today too, as everyone wants to make a buck on data. 

Fitbit Wireless Device Monitors your Daily Activity and Movements Released

This is further evidenced here with activities as such with both medical device and consumer device companies joining health insurance trade groups as we all know that’s where the the big fear is today as health insurance companies want every stick of data they can get about you and how they use it and it’s accuracy is the big question.  

Medical Device Companies Joining America’s Health Insurance Plans Trade Association (Lobbyists), Affiliations Allow for More Data Selling Between Both Entities–The Epidemic Continues to Grow

Red Brick is another company that has Target as a big account that gives out some type of benefit for those employees who use tracking devices and I said the same thing there as well. Red Brick uses Ingenix analytics (a division of United Healthcare now called Optum) for a lot of their Health IT analytics. See there you go with a connection to an insurance subsidiary that you didn’t know existed so again with all the data out there, how and does a subsidiary report it back to another subsidiary, like a wellness group and how does this float over to the health insurance area? Good questions right? We know that United is very interested in devices as they have their own cheap hearing aid business going and I have had posts to where that has been used to lure seniors at times with getting basically a “free” one if they enroll and take out a policy and then they have other owned entities too with biometrics.

The case in point here I’m making are the ties to insurance companies if not directly then via subsidiaries that collect, mine and analyze data.  We read all the time today about complexities in business models this is it right here where subsidiaries can function in areas where a corporate or other owned entity can’t but what happens with the data, only the shadow knows as nobody tracks any of this and government is bliss.  Billions and billions of easy profits are made selling data.  I found this article interesting of late to where Blue Cross and United were named as they are buying your MasterCard and Visa records from the banks, see they are all in on the profits. When confronted Blue Cross stated they were mining the data to see if any of their members were buying clothes a size larger.  I don’t know about you but weight and obesity are pretty visible and you don’t find humans being able to hide it very well, plus claims have your weight and other related information there too, so pretty weak reasoning if you ask me.

Insurance Companies Are Buying Up Consumer Spending Data-Time is Here to License and Tax the Data Sellers-As Insurers Sell Tons of Data, Gets Flawed Data When Data Buyers Uses Out of Context Too

What they do have let’s say  are records of where you buy your gas, where you buy your clothes and yes by chance did this consumer buy a Fitbit or any other device that sends data?  Think about it for a moment and browse through the want ads and see what kind of jobs insurance companies are looking to fill, there are numerous data mining, analytics and other related types of jobs out there in big numbers, again an observation and connecting some dots as to what’s going on in the real world, public information.  Like I keep saying this is a data selling “epidemic” as non linear methodologies are being explored to find that one tiny connection that might be there.  If you want to learn more about how some of this works I have a page with videos created by folks smarter than me that explain this and it fits both the financial world as well as healthcare as both are connected at the hip anyway today, so read up on Algo Duping and watch the videos when you have time. 

As a matter of fact I made a post that was somewhat satire about data addiction and abuse being the next upcoming 12 step program too back in 2009 and well what do you think?  Are we about there:)  I revisited this and another topic after the Madoff case and the total embarrassment of the SEC with not being up to date with technology and not even knowing how to talk about looking at whistle blower material that was given to them.  I said we need a Department of Algorithms as way in 2009 I could see the corruption developing and I’m not that smart and anyone in technology can see the same thing but I guess I might be a lone person who talks about it in a way the layman can understand.  It’s out there alright and I’m just connecting dots. 

Does the US Government Need a Department of Modeling and Algorithms–Is Data Addiction and Abuse the Next Up and Coming 12 Step Program, Some Classic Posts & Topics Revisited

Here’s an example of someone saying it so many words too, company and bank algorithms are becoming law and the government has not a clue or maybe lacks the intelligence to pay attention?  I keep saying Congress needs to re-institute the Office of Technology Assessment and agree with the Sunshine Foundation because I have never seen such a lost group in my life and it scares me to see some of their reasoning as it’s just so off base and not in touch with reality at all and they waste time with women’s health issues as that’s about the highest level of comprehension I guess we can see and it makes great OMG media, which is a farce of sorts. 

So coming back around you have proprietary algorithms running these devices and their data and the news announcement says they are going to expand upon it too.  It’s the data folks for profit.  I just looked around the BodyMedia page and noticed on the partner page, Walgreens.  According to their 2010 SEC statement they made short of $800 million selling data, so what’s that tell you?  They have been selling prescription data like all other drug stores and PBMS for years but now they get your purchase information and could query that with your other purchases, they could sell that to a device company like these, or these folks could sell it to them, it’s going on like crazy out there and you have no clue as you can never find a “privacy statement” that you can understand.  It’s those complexities that everyone talks about in the news that make money, so here you go, prime example.  I’m sure I’ll make no friends pointing this out but it is what it is and you can make your own educated choice with devices.  That’s the way it should be. 


There’s a lot of patents involved here too and I’m going into that discussion today as that’s a whole different topic.  I looked at the Jawbone privacy page too and in so many complicated words they are telling you they are selling data.  Again it’s written by an attorney I would guess and so here we go again with disclosures for consumers.  You are not going to get much either from the Consumer Financial Protection Agency either as you have the wrong man for the job stumbling around and creating a huge data base to study as he doesn’t have any hands on and has no clue.  This is not a personal attack on him at all, just wrong person with the skills to see what is really happening,image he’s duped too and thinks that building a big data base might make him look like he’s doing something which he is, but go to talk to the people that build the models and they can tell him exactly how this works and how consumers interact with the software, duh?  The algorithms are set to execute and with choices made they put out the data, what’s so difficult about this?  Again the folks that build it know and it’s not going to vary much as algorithms do as they are programmed, it’s not a human.

Richard Cordray, Fail With Understanding Flawed Models and Algorithms -Big Case of“Algo Duping”With Big Data-Save Time, Hire Quants Who Know How Consumer Financial Models Are Built and Function…Geez

Gizmodo did a good article too not too long ago on the data sellers and they focus on some of the same items too.  The New York Times this week did an article too and what you find is that you get the information in story fashion, which is good as that’s what journalists do and I commented further on it and you can read that at the link below.  I don’t really tell stories just prefer to get right to the bottom line on how it affects you.  How did that data get out there, you were sold, sold and sold again.  Also worth mentioning when data is queried with other data and stored on servers, what’s their security?  We don’t know so with all of this you now have a bigger exposure to breaches too, no brain surgeon to figure that one out as the more that’s out there, more to be hacked. 

Data Floating Around the Web and You Don’t Know How It Got There? Time to License and Excise Tax Data Sellers–Identify “Flawed Data” Epidemic At The Root of the Problem

The amount of flawed data is growing too so the data selling epidemic creates issues here too as once a flawed piece of data is sold and sold, it’s all over the place and while banks and big companies profit in the billions here, when they mess up, who gets to take time on their own dime to fix it, us, the consumers so they get free labor in essence there as well as we are all guilty with the data selling game.  Again I’m just pointing out to help educate folks on what goes on so it’s your decision with devices and so you know up front that your data or profile will be sold and queried, it is what it is and then you get marketed to death!  I expect a ton of it with my blog as yes I get tons and sift through the garbage but just be aware too that your opening a door for some of this yourself.  Here’s where this is attacking seniors too with all of this. 

I found one good video that included corporate IT and tech folks sitting around an discussing what they are doing to find value with big data, and they don’t know and throwing stuff against the wall. (link below) When you hear the folks from NASA and T-Mobile talking here it adds credibility to the unknowns with a lot of data and of course the marketing tells you “all of it has value” which it does not so here we are trying to figure out if it has value and if on the other side we are falling into a data selling routine as analytics can and do use analytics out of context to make money.  I had an exchange of information with an incognito banker who agrees with me on a lot of this and the fact that banks and health insurance companies are pretty just software companies that have models and algorithms that move a lot of money, in their directions:)

Big Data/Analytics If Used Out of Context and Without True Values Stand To Be A Huge Discriminatory Practice Against Consumers–More Honest Data Scientists Needed to Formulate Accuracy/Value To Keep Algo Duping For Profit Out of the Game

Inequality has been modeled this way by banks and companies on purpose and again we have nobody at any government level with a clue and glad some of the major media is covering some of this.  Been at this blog with that problem for 3 years and counting:)  Privacy laws and bills are a waste of time without incorporating  the data selling element since this is the biggest abusing element done for profit.  Scroll down and watch the videos in the footer if you want a little more education on this topic too.  So again when you use one of these devices just be aware that more than likely your data will be up for sale and who knows how far it will go and where it will appear and what analytics will be used to judge you as there’s nobody asking about the value of the complex analytics and big corporate profits are made this way. Great video at the link below that also explains from a former Quant on Wall Street who worked with Larry Summers, and it’s a good one and she’s honest and knows her stuff.  You do have to kind of chuckle though with her personal comments about Larry which not really bad but she’s being logical with her observations and she tells you how she was hired to do a job to help with risk and how nobody used the numbers, so legal bases get covered having someone on staff in one area, oh and I do like the comments too about the red and blue graphs:)  Anyone in technology or analytics will enjoy those in the video.  This is all very well modeled here and it makes huge profits selling our data and you have no clue. 

Modeling for Inequality With Segmentation, Insurance Industry Uses Backwards Segmentation As Some Models Stand to Threaten Overall Democracy

All of this can make you crazy and then we hear HHS wanting to speed up Health IT?  Get a clue the short order code kitchen burned down a few years ago, so again we have folks that don’t’ understand the big picture here with what goes on “behind closed server doors” if you will, but it appears this the model that most are using so just be aware when your data pops up in unusual places and again I stand by my idea from a couple years ago that gets reiterated here often enough about licensing and excise taxing data sellers.  It’s time if anyone wants to do anything to help consumers.  As a side note too, here’s kind of a funny error factor with Google Plus and their data to where their algorithms thought I was a real duck and said my name was not compliant with their algorithms, and of course they fixed it, but not before I had to file an appeal with Google, the big data conglomerate too, so it happens.  We know Google sells data too so with all the social networks they are all being more cognizant of being able to match your real name, to sell more data.  Here’s the plan for the data sellers (links below) and seems extremely fair to me and it can also help fund  the FDA and the NIH as those are consumer agencies we need.  BD

Time Has Come to License and Tax the Data Sellers of the Web, Companies, Banks, Social Networks..Any One Making a Profit-Latest Microsoft/Google Privacy War Helping the Cause –Consumers Deserve to Know What Is Being Sold and To Who in a Searchable Format
“Devaluate the Algorithm” And “Tax the Data Sellers”–A Cure for Both Healthcare and an Economy Based Heavily on Intangibles–We’ve Lost Our Balance

“You can do anything with software”, quote from Mike Osinski who wrote the software that all the banks used and modified for the sub prime loans and he’s right, and he also says what many others including myself have said “it doesn’t always play out in the human world as designed in the fantasy world of developers”, something we need to all be aware of, and the video can been seen here.  Again, everyone has their choice to make when it comes to software, devices, etc. and I’m just educating on how the data mechanics work and why you see some of what you see and hear out there today, and more so how your data ends up in places you have never seen or heard of, the data selling business that creates huge bank and corporate profits with maximizing intangible data for dollars.  BD

The company announced today that it’s acquiring BodyMedia, creator of sophisticated health tracking devices used on the TV show The Biggest Loser. Additionally, Jawbone is launching an app platform for its Up health wristband today, allowing third-party companies to integrate their services with Jawbone’s data.

“BodyMedia has created one of the world’s largest libraries of raw and real-world human sensor data with 500 trillion data points,” noted Jawbone’s Travis Bogard, VP of product management and strategy, in an interview with VentureBeat (emphasis ours). That figure alone should tell you why Jawbone was eager to snap up BodyMedia.


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