The Forgotten Risk of Fitness Trackers

Fitbit launched a new personal fitness tracker for employees and members of health care plans—what are the downsides?

Andrew Maynard
OneZero
Published in
5 min readMar 1, 2019

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Photo: Neil Godwin/T3 Magazine/Getty

FFitbit recently launched a new personal fitness tracker that you won’t find in any store. The Fitbit Inspire is aimed at the corporate market—companies that want to help their workers maintain a healthy lifestyle and health insurers who understand the bottom-line benefits of members who don’t get sick.

On the surface, it’s a win-win move for Fitbit and their customers. Yet despite the promise of health, wealth, and well-being that the Inspire and similar technologies promise, this could all too easily come at the expense of consumers who find their personal data being misused.

The new FitBit Inspire. Source: FitBit

The Inspire is part of a growing trend of businesses, insurance companies, and health care providers using personal health devices to track and monitor employees and members, and even to reward or penalize them based on their data. If this sounds creepy, it is. There are benefits users potentially get out of wearing personal fitness devices tied to an employer, insurer, or health care provider…

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Andrew Maynard
OneZero

Scientist, author, & Professor of Advanced Technology Transitions at Arizona State University