Essays on Technology and Culture

Data Brokers See You When You’re Sleeping, They Know When You’re Awake

We already know that the major data brokers like Acxiom and Experian collect thousands of pieces of information on nearly every US consumer to paint a detailed personality picture, by tracking the websites we visit and the things we search for and buy. These companies often know sensitive things like our sexual preference or what illnesses we have.

Now with wearables proliferating (it’s estimated there will be 240 million devices sold by 2019) that profile’s just going to get more detailed: Get ready to add how much body fat you have, when you have sex, how much sleep you get, and all sorts of physiological data into the mix.

Meghan Neal – What Happens to the Data Collected On Us While We Sleep | Motherboard

One thing I like about the way Apple handles health data is how secure it is. I don’t have to worry about Apple selling the data in HealthKit, or even having access to it, at least as long as Tim Cook is running things. The apps I use to actually do stuff with my health data? That’s much more worrisome. I have six apps on my iPhone that read and write HealthKit data (seven if you count Workflow). How many of them can I trust to keep my biometrics mine?

Probably the ones that aren’t MyFitnessPal.