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"Fitbit Fitness Tracker" Devices Leak Personal Data: Researchers

"Fitbit Fitness Tracker" Devices Leak Personal Data Online

According to a study published by the University of Edinburgh’ computer research team on Thursday, it is about time that manufacturers try to augment the security and reliability of these products to ensure optimal protection of user data otherwise the consequences could be alarming. 

Through exploiting the vulnerabilities found in the communication mechanism of these gadgets, it is possible to conduct unauthorized sharing of this data with third parties such as marketing firms, online retailers, and other stakeholders.

The abovementioned study is a joint effort between University of Edinburgh researchers and researchers from Germany and Italy. To prove their point, researchers conducted an in-depth security analysis of two of the most famous wearable fitness tracker models namely Fitbit One and Fitbit Flex wristbands. Fitbit manufactures both.

The analysis revealed that there was indeed a way through which communication between fitness tracker device and cloud server could be intercepted. 

It is worth noting that the data captured by the fitness tracker device is transmitted to a cloud server for further analysis.

“Our work demonstrates that security and privacy measures implemented in popular wearable devices continue to lag behind the pace of new technology development. 

We welcome Fitbit’s receptiveness to our findings, their professional attitude towards understanding the vulnerabilities we identified and the timely manner in which they have improved the affected services,” said Dr. Patras.

An official statement from Fitbit with regards to this matter read: “We are always looking for ways to strengthen the security of our devices, and in the upcoming days will start rolling out updates that improve device security, including ensuring encrypted communications for trackers launched before Surge. 

The trust of our customers is paramount, and we carefully design security measures for new products, continuously monitor for new threats, and diligently respond to identified issues.”