Fitbit Temporarily Turns Its Users Into Exhibitionists

from the good-lord,-it's-like-porn-made-out-of-letters-and-backslashes dept

Remember the old adage "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you've got nothing to hide?" Well, tell that to the users of Fitbit, a fitness tracking device that syncs with your PC to upload your exercise activity.

Unfortunately for these very active (and we'll be enjoying that word on more levels shortly) Fitbit users, their activity tracking is set to public by default. So, when these users detailed workouts like step class, aerobics, sexual activity or just sitting around watching television, this information was uploaded to their profiles where (until sometime Sunday) it could be easily searched by Google.

*splutter* Sexual activity?!? *coughcoughcough*

It seems that after people realized that people's sexual activity was getting spread all over the interwebz, Fitbit did a bit of robots.txt editing to disallow indexing of Mr./Ms. Fitbit's evening "constitutionals." Nothing official has been noted on Fitbit's website or blog, and oddly, there's no mention of it in their community forums. Nevertheless, the damage has been (mostly) undone.

But, yeah, for a few days, Fitbit's private lives were on public display.

Oh. Yeah.

While most Fitbit users would presumably like the world to know that they're taking care of themselves (and others, apparently) with their various fitness programs, they probably weren't interested in sharing details of their life that included descriptive terms like "Sexual Activity - Active, vigorous effort."

(Of course, this doesn't take into account the exhibitionist streak found in some people -- especially men -- who would like nothing better than an acceptable public forum to inform the world about how much "action" they're getting. On the other hand, if what's been uploaded shows this description instead --"Passive, light effort, kissing, hugging - 15 minutes" -- well, you may want to keep that to yourself. And speaking of "keeping it to yourself," shifting to "manual override" does not seem to come with a calorie count.)

So, the good news is that Mom won't have to accidentally discover why her phone call went unanswered last night. Or the previous afternoon. Or during what would normally be called the "lunch hour." On the other hand, if your Mom is actively searching for Fitbit data with the modifier "sexual activity," then there's probably deeper issues at play here.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 1:52pm

    "Passive, light effort, kissing, hugging - 15 minutes"

    That is a bit fit, not a fitbit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 2:24pm

    Coming up next week -

    Indonesia has lost ~4,000,000,000,000 man hours due to the discovery of FitBit's snafu.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    RobShaver, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:05pm

    STOP THE PRESSES, STOP THE PRESSES

    THIS JUST IN ... SOME PEOPLE HAVE SEX ... FILM AT ELEVEN.

    Give me a f**k'n break. Must be a damn slow news day here at TechDirt.

    I usually appreciate the coverage here but this kind of non-event really annoys me. Kind of puts you in the same class with Murdoc news papers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:23pm

    Re: STOP THE PRESSES, STOP THE PRESSES

    Whooooooooosh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Atkray (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 4:35pm

    Re: STOP THE PRESSES, STOP THE PRESSES

    Yes you are correct. The part about data that people assumed(incorrectly) was private getting spread all over isn't at all in keeping with the news that is commented on here.

    By the way where is your cutting edge website? I'd like to see it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jul 6th, 2011 @ 5:24pm

    Re: STOP THE PRESSES, STOP THE PRESSES

    THIS JUST IN ... SOME PEOPLE HAVE SEX ... FILM AT ELEVEN.


    Um. That's not what the post is about.

    Must be a damn slow news day here at TechDirt.


    No. It's not. It's actually quite busy. Why would you assume otherwise?

    I usually appreciate the coverage here but this kind of non-event really annoys me. Kind of puts you in the same class with Murdoc news papers.

    How so? You really think that people not realizing they're advertising to the world (without them realizing it in many cases) the specifics of their sexual activity is a tabloid style story? Really?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Jul 6th, 2011 @ 6:49pm

    Re: STOP THE PRESSES, STOP THE PRESSES

    "Kind of puts you in the same class with Murdoc news papers."

    How so Sherlock ..... Did TD hack the Fitbit in order to obtain the sexy bits?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This