A story broke late last year highlighting the importance of being aware of what your smart devices are tracking, and when they’re tracking you. In this instant, it resulted in a cheating partner being caught out, however there’s many other malicious use case scenarios for smart device tracking/monitoring.
In this particular case, a couple had linked their Fitbits together to track each other’s progress and help motivate one another. Using a Bluetooth link between the Fitbit and a user’s mobile phone, the wearable exercise trackers are able to connect to the internet to share exercise goals and such with other users.
The girlfriend had noticed that her boyfriend had a noticeable spike in exercise at 4am whilst being unaccounted for. It transpired that he was not in an exercise class at 4am but instead he was in relations with another woman.
Although in this instance someone committing infidelity was caught, it showcases a general miss understanding for the amount of data that can be collected from wearable devices such as these and the dangers that can come from this data being in the wrong hands.
Some devices like these possess the ability to track different routes taken on runs or bike rides etc., and plot these on a map to be shared online. Once online it can be very easy for anyone to see patterns emerge regarding which routes user’s like to take on which day, resulting in someone being able to obtain regular dates and times of when the user isn’t home.