Monday, August 11, 2014

Fitness Data, Data Privacy and Consumer Protection

We have discussed the wonders of personal fitness data on this blog before.  I was just joking yesterday, during my run, that if the run was not recorded it didn't happen. . . Indeed, the intersection between fitness data and social media is now almost pervasive -- see, I ran yesterday!! Really, I did.  Here's the photo, complete with route!  There's a lot you can figure out from this photo, though I won't give a list. Perhaps the most insidious was that Nike+ added its own hashtag when I shared it.

This is all childs' play compared to the information that's available from my Garmin, and apparently a fitbit generates even more.  There are now sites that allow you to combine the data from all of your devices and link Strava to Garmin to Nike.  We data junkies just gather and link and gather and link without really thinking about the privacy implications of all of this.  Do I really want Garmin knowing my maximum heart rate??

Chuck Schumer has apparently taken this on as an issue, arguing that the data utilities ought to offer an opt out from data collection.  This seems sensible to me, though, of course, the tradeoff will be that we'll have to pay for our data fix.  I can live with that.


  1. Wow! You give me hope for double digit runs again someday! Nice.

  2. It will happen. Have faith!!