February 18, 2015

Which Fitness Wearable Is For You?

All of your friends have a FitBit and you are wondering if you should be jumping on the band wagon? FitBits aren’t the only fitness wearables on the market in Australia. There are a few options to choose from and various things to take into account. Each wearable has a variety of things it is able to collect data on, which vary from the base models up to top of the line. There are also factors such as, data tracking capabilities, what apps they integrate with, as well as privacy policies. Last week we wrote about FitBit not selling your information to a 3rd party that can be traced back to you.

If you have concerns about your data then purchasing a wearable from a European company may be the answer. The EU has stricter privacy laws than the US, where most of the fitness wearable companies are based. One European producer is Polar Flow, which states that they will never on sell user’s data to 3rd parties. You can read their privacy policy here.

Other fitness wearables on the market in Australia include Jawbone, Misfit, Oaxis, LG Lifeband, Samsung Galaxy Gear and Garmin. All of these devices can track anything from your fitness based activities to your sleep patterns. It is important to be mindful of what happens with all of the data that you keep track of. In Australia we can either choose to use a device and agree to the whole policy or not at all. In the future local policy makers may follow the EU’s planned requirements to allow users to opt out of sections of privacy policy agreements.

The following was taken from a Mother Jone’s article on data collection by fitness wearables –

If there’s one entity that knows the value of the health data uploaded to these devices, it’s the CIA. Last year, at a data conference in New York, the CIA’s chief technology officer, Ira Hunt, gave a talk on big data. During the discussion, he told the crowd that he carries a Fitbit. “We like these things,” he said. “What’s really most intriguing is that you can be 100% guaranteed to be identified by simply your gait—how you walk.”

The full article is available here. In the meantime, we will be watching how the wonderful world of wearables continues to unfold!


Julie Dunmore

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